Strike: Exercise Caution, Governors’ Forum Urges Labour Unions

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The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), to exercise caution on its planned industrial action over increase in price of petroleum products and electricity tariff.


The 36 governors made the call in a communique issued on Friday in Abuja by the forum’s Vice Chairman and Governor of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal, after its 18th emergency teleconference meeting held on Friday.


The governors, according to him, insisted that subsidy in the petroleum sector was promoting corruption in petroleum pricing and distribution, as well as loss of jobs and revenues to all tiers of government.


Tambuwal said that any strike action  would  worsen  the  currently  deteriorating economic situation of the country brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.


He said that the governors, while expressing concern over the call for a national strike, suggested  the  provision  of  a  cushioning arrangement to ameliorate the effect of subsidy removal.



He said that the governors confirmed that an Industrial Court had barred labour from  embarking on the planned strike, and nevertheless decided to use the intervening period to  mediate between the stakeholders.


“The forum resolved to intercede with the labour unions, the Federal Government and other stakeholders.


“The forum especially calls labour to exercise caution in its plan to embark on indefinite  strike.


“It notes that any such  action  will worsen  the  already  deteriorating  economic  situation  of  the  workers brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic;


“The forum set up a committee made up of the Governors of Jigawa, as Chairman, Nasarawa, Ogun, Kwara, Gombe, Abia  and  Bayelsa to interface with  the  National  Economic  Council,  the  labour  Unions  and  relevant stakeholders  for  the  overall  interest  of  the  nation.”


Tambuwal said that the  NGF  Secretariat would  provide  relevant  support  to  the  Committee  on  the  details  of  the mechanism for deregulation put in place by the federal government.


“The forum resolved to call for an emergency NEC meeting as soon as the committee comes up with a common position on the deregulation of both the petroleum and power sectors and the figures laid bare for all to see.


“Finally,  members  advised  that  any  position  taken  by  the  Forum  should not  be  seen  to  be  contrary or injurious to the position State Governors  have  always  maintained  in  support of deregulation.”


Tambuwal  expressed the governors  concern  over  deductions  from  the Federation  Allocation of  the  774  local  governments to construct and equip healthcare centres in each local government on behalf  of  the  Association  of  Local  Government  Areas  of  Nigeria (ALGON).


“The  Forum  rejected  the  legality  and  the  legitimacy  of  the  contract including all financing arrangements.”


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Tambuwal said that the forum resolved to call  on  the  minister of finance and the accountant general of the federation not to disburse to receiving entities monies already deducted for  the  construction  of the  primary  healthcare  centres  in each  of  the  774 LGAs.


“The governors also resolved that further deductions should be halted forthwith.


“The forum constitutes a committee comprising the Governors of Ekiti (chairman), Ebonyi, Delta, Gombe, Plateau, and Kano States to represent State and local governments on the matter.


“The committee will meet Mr. President, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, the  National  Judicial  Council  and  the  Minister  of  Finance,  Budget  and National Planning to appeal against the judgment.”



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