The Nigeria Governors’ Forum has called on the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to reconsider its planned industrial action over an increase in the price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs for the sake of economy.
The 36 Governors unanimously made the call in a communique issued on Friday in Abuja by the forum’s Vice Chairman and Governor of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal, after its 18th emergency teleconference meeting held on Friday.
The governors according to him, maintained that subsidy in the petroleum sector was promoting corruption in petroleum pricing and distribution, as well as loss of jobs and revenues to all tiers of government.
Tambuwal said any strike action would worsen the currently deteriorating economic situation of the country brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that governors, while expressing concern over the call for a national strike, suggested the provision of a cushioning arrangement to ameliorate the effect of subsidy removal.
He said the governors confirmed that an Industrial Court had barred labour from embarking on the planned strike, and nevertheless decided to use the intervening period to mediate between the stakeholders.
“The forum resolved to intercede with the labour unions, the Federal Government, and other stakeholders.
“The forum especially calls labour to exercise caution in its plan to embark on indefinite strike.
“It notes that any such action will worsen the already deteriorating economic situation of the workers brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The forum set up a committee made up of the Governors of Jigawa, as Chairman, Nasarawa, Ogun, Kwara, Gombe, Abia and Bayelsa to interface with the National Economic Council, the labour Unions and relevant stakeholders for the overall interest of the nation.”
Tambuwal said the NGF Secretariat would provide relevant support to the Committee on the details of the mechanism for deregulation put in place by the federal government.
“The forum resolved to call for an emergency NEC meeting as soon as the committee comes up with a common position on the deregulation of both the petroleum and power sectors and the ﬁgures laid bare for all to see.
“Finally, members advised that any position taken by the Forum should not be seen to be contrary or injurious to the position State Governors have always maintained in support of deregulation.”