Federal Government Faces N315bn Wage Bill Surge as NLC and TLC Suspend Strike for 30 Days

NLC and TUC agreed to suspend the indefinite strike for a duration of 30 days,

In a significant development, the Federal Government is projected to see an increase of N315 billion in its wage bill over the next six months due to the implementation of a new allowance for federal workers, as revealed by investigations conducted.

This development emerged after an extensive round of negotiations concluded late on Tuesday, leading to an agreement between Organised Labour and the Federal Government.

The talks, spanning over five hours, transpired at the Chief of Staff Conference Room of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Announcing the resolution to State House correspondents, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, stated, “The NLC and TUC agreed to suspend the indefinite strike for a duration of 30 days, initially scheduled to commence on Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023.”

Lalong also emphasized that the memorandum would be officially submitted to the appropriate court of jurisdiction within one week, as a consent judgment on behalf of the Federal Government.

However, NLC President, Joe Ajaero, made it clear that the unions would revisit the agreement if the Federal Government failed to meet their stipulated demands.Per the agreement, the Federal Government will implement a wage increment of N35,000 exclusively for all Federal Government workers, “starting from the month of September, pending the formal enactment of a new national minimum wage.”The agreement further stipulates, “A minimum wage committee will be established within one month from the date of this agreement.”Additionally, the Federal Government has committed to allocate N100 billion for the procurement of high-capacity CNG buses for mass transit in Nigeria.

Provisions have also been made for the initial distribution of 55,000 CNG conversion kits to initiate an auto gas conversion program. Concurrently, efforts are underway for the establishment of state-of-the-art CNG stations nationwide, with the rollout anticipated to commence in November, beginning with pilot programs across ten campuses nationwide.

The Federal Government has also pledged to encourage state governments, through the National Economic Council and Governors Forum, to implement wage awards for their respective workers. A similar consideration will be extended to local government and private sector employees. A joint visitation is planned to refineries to assess their current status of rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government had announced on Sunday that the provisional wage increase, as declared by President Bola Tinubu for all low-income workers over the next six months, will encompass all treasury-paid workers.This concession was reached to avert the proposed indefinite nationwide strike that was declared by organised labour. The decision came in the wake of President Tinubu’s Independence Day address, where he sanctioned a provisional N25,000 wage hike for a specific category of federal workers for the ensuing six months.

The result of the meeting was NLC and TUC agreed to suspend the indefinite strike for a duration of 30 days,