NLC leaders fume, as aide represents FG at failed meeting on subsidy

The continuation of the Federal Government and Organised Labour’s meeting over the removal of subsidy on petrol, and its attendant consequences, failed to hold Friday evening.

However, Organised Labour blamed government unpreparedness and lack of seriousness for the botched meeting.

Vanguard gathered that the scheduled meeting of the main committee (the Steering Committee) and three sub-committees were scheduled for today (Friday), where the Steering Committee would receive briefings from the three sub-committees.

The sub-committees are on Mass transit, Energy and Compressed Natural Gas, CNG.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila and President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Joe Ajaero, are co-chairmen of the Steering Committee.

The committee is made up of 10 members each from the Federal Government and labour.

Vanguard was informed that senior officers of government and organised labour made up the committee.

President and General Secretary of NLC as well as President and Secretary General of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, are parts of Labour team.

The failed meeting, it was gathered, was agreed to during Thursday’s (July 27) meeting.

While the top hierarchy of labour leaders including Joe Ajaero, Emma Ugboaja (NLC scribe), Festus Osifo and Nuhu Toro (TUC’s President and scribe) among other senior labour leaders, were at the venue of the meeting, the government sent a Senior Assistant on Energy and three other lower ranking officers to represent it.

According sources, the labour leaders left because the meeting could not form a quorum due to absence of full government’s representation and secondly, the four persons that turned up from the government side were said to be of lower ranks that cannot take decisions.

Speaking to Vanguard on the development, one of the senior labour leaders that was at the venue of botched meeting, blamed government for the development.

According to him, “This shows complete lack of seriousness and unpreparedness on the part of government. We (Labour leaders) were all at the meeting venue.

“We waited several hours for the government representatives headed by the Chief of Staff to the President to turn up in vain.

“Only an SA on Energy and three other lower ranking officers came.

“We had to leave because the meeting could not form a quorum and secondly, there was no way we can discuss with four persons that cannot take decisions. It is unfortunate that the government is taking this path.

“We have made ourselves available for dialogue, it is obvious that the government is not ready for dialogue.

“The way the government is going, we are convinced the government do not care about Nigerians, especially the poor masses and the workers.”


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