Labour Strike : Police Lay Siege To Ogun NUJ Secretariat - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Monday, September 28, 2020

Labour Strike : Police Lay Siege To Ogun NUJ Secretariat

Police Presence Meant To Forestall Breakdown Of Law And Order - PPRO

From Ayobami Ife, Abeokuta

Despite suspension of planned strike by the organised Labour Unions, over a dozen of Police Operatives who lay siege at the State Secretariat of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Iweiroyin, Ogun State Council, in Abeokuta, have elected to stay put.

The Operatives who arrived in two pick - up patrol vans before 7am, occupied the NUJ facility ahead of the planned convergence of leaders and members of the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) among other civil society organisations in the state.

In compliance with the suspension directive by the National leaders, the state chapters decided to shelve their meeting this morning at Iweiroyin but the Police siege at the facility is yet to be lifted.

Their presence is creating an anxiety and suspense among some journalists and visitors who inquired in shock, why Police Operatives occupied the place.

The Daily Crucible reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress have suspended the strike planned to commence in the morning today.

The suspension of the strike followed an agreement reached with the Federal Government at a meeting which began at 8.30pm on Sunday and ended at 2:50am on Monday.

It was learnt that after exhaustive deliberations on the issues raised by the labour centres, the meeting agreed to suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments for two weeks.

It was further  gathered that by the medium  that following exhaustive deliberations on the issues raised by the organised labour, the meeting agreed to suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments for 14 days.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, read a five-page communique signed by the representatives of the government and labour.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba; and his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Quadri Olaleye, among others signed on behalf of Organised Labour while the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige; Minister of State Petroleum, Timipre Silva; Minister of State Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN); Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed; and the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and others, signed on behalf of the Federal government.

Part of the  communique reads "During the two weeks, the DISCOs shall suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments,” the communique noted.

The parties agreed to set up a technical committee comprising Ministries, Departments, Agencies, NLC and TUC.

The suspension remains in force for two weeks effective September 28, to examine the justifications for the new policy “in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost-reflective tariff as a result of the conflicting information from the fields which appeared different from the data presented to justify the new policy by NERC; metering deployment, challenges, timeline for massive rollout.”

The meeting also resolved that the 40 per cent stake of government in the DISCO and the stake of workers should be reflected in the composition of the DISCO’s boards.

It agreed that “an all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations as provided in the privatization MoU to be undertaken before the end of the year 2020, with labour represented.

“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.”

The parties also resolved that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation should expedite action on the rehabilitation of the four refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna to achieve 50 per cent completion by December 2021.

“To ensure commitment and transparency to the processes and timelines of the rehabilitation exercise, the management of NNPC has offered to integrate the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association into the steering committee already established by the corporation,” the communique stated.

But reacting, the Ogun State Command Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, justified the Police presence, saying the men "are  conducting observational patrol" to maintain peace and forestall breakdown of law and order.

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