Mr. Ayuba Wabba, the National Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Monday announced the suspension of the nationwide strike scheduled to commence today (Tuesday).
The decision to call off the strike came following an apparent agreeable outcome of the tripartite committee meeting which ended around 10pm on Monday night.
According to the labour leader, the suspension came because agreements were reached and documents were signed.
“Having reached this position and agreements signed, the proposed strike action is hereby suspended,” Mr. Wabba said.
He further noted that the report would be presented to President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday by 4:15pm.
He however did not disclose the final figure that was agreed on by the committee. They had agreed on N30,000 before the Federal Government announced N24,000 which resulted to the first strike.
To make matters worse, the Nigerian Governors Forum announced that they can only pay N22,500.
Amma Pepple, the Chairman of the Committee, while speaking after the meeting expressed delight that their assignment after over a year had been concluded.
“I am happy to report to you that we have concluded our assignment and we will submit our report to the President by 4.15pm on Tuesday.
“We will reveal the figure at the presentation,” she said.
“We have concluded but we have a little challenge about Chapter 5 of our report. That is the section where we report the negotiation and the figures we used for negotiation and the figure that we concluded on,” she added.
“The committee came up with two figures. The Federal Government suggested N24,000 and labour, as well as the organised private sector, gave a figure of N30,000.
“There is no stalemate. We have finished and we have signed the report but what we are insisting on is that the strike should be called off. We are waiting for the President to give us a date to submit the report. The report will go through a process. It will go through the Federal Government as well as the National Assembly,” Pepple noted.
Also, Mr. Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, thanked the committee for doing a wonderful job. He had on Sunday promised to personally ensure that President Buhari signs the report after common ground is reached on Monday.
“The committee has worked assiduously to reach the conclusion,” he said.
Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, stated that the government was making progress, adding that the N24,000 figure proposed by the Federal Government was based on ability to pay and sustainability.
“We are making progress. The governors’ figure should be the figure of the Federal Government. We are just trying to carry them along; otherwise, the Federal Government speaks for the government.
“The figures are standing but you know that there are other processes. It will get to the National Economic Council, Council of State and then an Executive Bill will be sent to the National Assembly.
“The Federal Government figure of N24,000 is noted and it is also weighty because it is based on ability to pay and sustainability.
“The labour is satisfied. We have done the needful and we have crossed the Rubicon. The only aspect we need to do now is to fix an appointment to present the report to the President.
“We are reconvening tonight because that appointment has to be made. Mr President has gone home; he is not just sitting idle. We have sent message to the place and we are making necessary contacts. If we get the appointment now, we will reconvene and decide what to do.
“The state governors have no choice now because they have attached themselves to us as the supreme sovereign, they are the minor sovereign.”