The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has said the Bola Tinubu-led Nigerian government is not making any attempt to meet its demands and has left many issues unattended to including "as simple as cash transfer" to cushion the economic impacts created by the removal of fuel subsidy.
In an appearance on Channels Television's Politics Today on Monday, the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, noted the government's refusal to move on several points, hours after a stalled meeting with government officials to avert an indefinite strike.
Among its requests are that the government addresses the repercussions of rising petrol prices, reassess the minimum wage, develop a feasible roadmap for the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) alternative, repair the country's refineries and settle lecturers' salary arrears.
Ajaero said, “They have not made any efforts on any issue. Even the issue as simple as cash transfer or bringing buses on the road, nothing has happened to them. So, it’s a lack of willingness and we can’t muddle up all these issues.
“Then you call a minimum wage as wage award. If anybody is looking at the issue of wage award as minimum wage, then there’s confusion within that class of people.”
Ajaero criticised the Federal Government's 2024 plan to introduce CNG buses to create a more inexpensive mass transportation system.
“If anybody is telling you that until next year, nothing could be done, I’m telling you that the person is not telling us the truth,” he said.
“What is so peculiar about next year when these processes will start? Is it that there are no CNG vehicles that can come onto the road, or we can’t have some stations, even with IPMAN saying that their filling stations are available?”
Citing a 2021 agreement on CNG vehicles reached with the then Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, the labour leader argued it was clear that a million vehicles could be converted within three months.