This was contained in a communique read by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, after a technical session that started late on Sunday and lasted till the early hours of Monday morning.
The decision to suspend the strike followed an agreement reached between both parties and averts a nationwide strike which would have grounded economic activities in the country.
Organized labour, however, stressed that the strike was suspended not called off and it could be recalled if the government doesn’t hold up its end of the deal made at this meeting in the next two weeks.
As part of the agreement, the Federal Government will suspend the electricity price tariff hike and has set up a committee to look into what the labour minister described as conflicting field reports justifying the hike in electricity tariff.
The suspension of the electricity tariff hike will be for a two-week period during which the committee will conduct its investigations and submit its report.
The committee is to be headed by Dr Ngige, but he will be represented by the Minister of State for Labour, Mr Festus Keyamo.
Based on the agreement, the new price of fuel will, however, remain in place but the government promised to do more to improve local refining capacity, rehabilitate Nigeria’s refineries and pursue the CNG alternative aggressively by for instance providing CNG mass transit buses across the country.
Dr Ngige decried the stifled growth in Nigeria’s downstream sector and the dire circumstances faced by government which he claims is the justification for fuel subsidy removal.
NLC President, on his part, Ayuba Wabba welcomed the dialogue with government and the resolutions reached.
He confirmed that the planned strike has been suspended and is looking forward to the palliatives promised by government to Nigerians during the meeting.
The palliatives are meant to cushion the effect of the fuel price increase.
Sunday’s meeting was held in the banquet hall of State House in Abuja.
It was attended by the NLC President Ayuba Wabba, President of the Trade Union Congress, Mr Quadri Olaleye and other members of organised labour, while the government’s team included the Minister of Labour Dr Chris Ngige, Minister of State for Labour Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Petroleum Timipre Silva, Minister of Information Lai Mohammed and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha.
The minister of State for Power Mr Jeddy Agba was also in attendance.
FG Raises Number Of Beneficiaries Of N-Power, School Feeding
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed an increase in the beneficiaries of the National Social Investment Programmes.
The President directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to increase the number of N-Power beneficiaries from 500,000 to 1,000,000.
He also directed an increase in the beneficiaries of Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) by 1,000,000 as well as beneficiaries of the Home-Grown School Feeding by 5,000,000.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq disclosed these during a briefing to give account of her ministry in the last one year on Monday in Abuja.
The Minister said about 3.7 million households comprising of more than 15.5 million individuals have been captured on the National Social Register.
She said the ministry has developed a strategy for targeting the urban poor in line with President Buhari’s directive to expand the National Social Register.
Gov Okowa Signs 2021 Budget Of N383bn
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Monday in Asaba assented to the state’s 2021 Appropriation Bill of N383 billon.
The bill tagged “Budget of Economic Recovery” is made up of N210 billion capital expenditure and N173 billion recurrent expenditure
The Delta House of Assembly increased the budget figure of N378.48 proposed by the governor to N383 billion.
Signing the budget, Okowa assured the people that the state would strive to recover from the economic challenges engendered by Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The governor commended the state house of assembly for the speedy passage of the bill.
He said that signing the budget before December would avail the state government the opportunity to further plan towards its implementation from January, 2021.
He said that the state government would remain focused in the implemention of the budget as passed, for the benefit of the people.
The governor noted that there was warm working relationship between the executive and the legislature in the state.
“You have just witnessed my signing into law, the 2021 Appropriation Bill, and as I said on Oct. 27, during the presentation of the bill, we are in very difficult times this year.
“The second wave of the pandemic will create further challenge for the recovery of the economy of our nation.
“However, we are optimistic that in the 2021 fiscal year, things will gradually improve and we will be able to get back to the desired levels of infrastructural and human capital development for our people.
“I pray that God will help us and this nation to rediscover ourselves and to commit every work of our people and our state and nation for the common good of all our citizens.
The budget is termed ‘budget of economic recovery’ because we are very much aware of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on both our health systems and the economy of the country.
“The pandemic obviously impacted negatively on our budget in 2020 that we had to reduce it twice in the year.
“I want to appreciate our contractors who have continued to stay in their various sites to work even when it is becoming increasingly difficult to make payments on contractual agreements already made.
“We will continue to be very responsible as a state and we will continue to work with them to deliver on our projects,” he said.
The governor expressed delight that some of the key projects in the state, including the new state secretariat building and the Ughelli-Asaba dual carriageway were still on course.
“I want to reassure you, Mr Speaker and Delta people that the executive will keep focus on the development of projects that we are involved in,” he added.
He disclosed that work had commenced at the Ogwashi-Uku Agro-Industrial Park, and reaffirmed that the state government was committed to delivering the project on time.
Okowa said that the state would continue to focus on entrepreneurship programmes, and take them to higher levels in the 2021 fiscal year by engaging more youths.
He said that the state government was also be paying attention to the girl-child development and the empowerment of women.
Presenting the appropriation bill, the Speaker of the state assembly, Sherrif Oborevwori, said that the bill went through all legislative process before being passed.
He said that the bill was presented to the house on Oct. 27 and was passed on Nov. 17, after it was considered sector by sector.
“The quick passage of the bill was necessitated by Your Excellency’s vision to bring the state out of the economic challenges posed by the pandemic,” he said.
According to him, the increase in the budget size was to provide for some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that were not captured in the proposal.
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