Organised Labour, in the early hours of today, suspended its planned strike and protest following the decision of the federal government to reverse the hike in electricity tariff.
This was the outcome of a marathon meeting between the government and the labour unions, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) and others.
The government and the labour unions reached a compromise over the increase in pump price of petrol as well as electricity tariff hike.
According to a communique issued at the end of the meeting which lasted over six hours, government agreed to provide some palliatives for workers to ameliorate the effect of the increase in pump price of petrol and electricity tariff hike
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said the palliatives will be in the areas of transport, power, housing, agriculture and humanitarian support.
Ngige who read from the communique said the parties agreed to set up a technical committee comprising Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs), NLC and TUC, which will work for a duration of two weeks effective Monday September 28, 2020.
The committee, according to him, will examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments.
The committee, he said, is to look at the different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate and examine and advise government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the six million meters.
“Within the two weeks the DisCos shall suspend the increase in electricity tariff”, the minister noted.
On the downstream sector, he said part of the compromise reached was government’s agreement to revive the nation’s four refineries with the Port Harcourt refinerie achieving 50 per cent completion by December 2021, adding that government will also facilitate licensing of new modular refineries.
The communique reads in part: “All parties agreed on the urgency for increasing the local refining capacity of the nation to reduce the overdependency on importation of petroleum products to ensure energy security, reduce cost of finished products, increase employment and business opportunities for Nigerians.
“To address above, NNPC to expedite the rehabilitation of the nation’s four refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna and to achieve 50% completion for Port Harcourt by December 2021, while timelines and delivery for Warri and Kaduna will be established by the inclusive Steering Committee.”
Accordingly, the federal government agreed to facilitate the delivery of licensed modular and regular refineries, involvement of upstream companies in petroleum refining and establishing framework for financing in the downstream sector.
It also agreed that NNPC will expedite work on the Build Operate and Transfer framework for the nation’s pipelines and strategic depots network for efficient transportation and distribution of Petroleum products to match the delivery timelines of the refineries as agreed.