FG jacks up provisional wage increment to N35,000 to avert strike

President Bola Tinubu has approved N35,000 as the provisional wage increment for all treasury-paid workers for the period of six months.

“Going from the meeting with Labour today, President Bola Tinubu has agreed to increase the provisional wage award for all treasury-paid Federal Government workers to N35,000 for 6 months,” a statement from the presidency on Sunday night reads.

The approval followed the outcome of the meeting between the representatives of the federal government and leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to avert the planned indefinite nationwide strike by the unions.

The unions have directed their members across the country to mobilize for a “shutdown of the nation” on October 3 as a protest against the removal of the petrol subsidy and the economic hardship in the country.

However, Femi Gbajabiamila, chief of staff (CoS) to Tinubu, who chaired the meeting, announced that the president has approved the N25,000 provisional wage increment for all categories of federal workers.

Tinubu in his Independence Day speech on Sunday morning said that the N25,000 would be for low-grade workers for the period of six months.

But before the resolutions were reached, the labour had rejected the N25,000 provisional wage increment.

Speaking at the end of the four-hour meeting with the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the State House, Abuja, Gbajabiamila said the government team and the labour leaders have reached some resolutions.

The meeting was called by the federal government to avert the planned nationwide indefinite strike by the labour to protest against the removal of the petrol subsidy and other issues.

“I am happy to say that after four hours, we have reached certain agreements that are for the benefit of the Nigerian worker,” he said.

“Agreements on wage bills, agreements on committees on salary increments, CNG buses, on several other things, I believe, both TUC Labour and government side.

“Hopefully, we expect that labour will call a meeting of their various branches and executive tomorrow to present the agreements that have been reached, and we pray and we believe and we hope that the strike will be called off on Tuesday.

“So I want to once again, thank labour for taking time out on a good Sunday like this one when they should be with their families to come and discuss in the interest of the workers. Thank you very much.”

In a statement issued at the end of the meeting, Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national 0rientation, said the federal government is “committed to fast-tracking the provision of compressed natural Gas (CNG) buses to ease public transportation difficulties associated with the removal of PMS subsidy”.

He added that the government would see to the provision of funds for micro and small-scale enterprises, adding that the value-added tax (VAT) on diesel will be waived for the next six months.

“The Federal Government will commence payment of N75,000 to 15 million households at N25,000 per month, for a three-month period from October-December 2023,” the statement reads.

“A sub-committee is to be constituted to work out the details of implementation of all items for consideration regarding government interventions to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.

“NLC and TUC will consider the offers by the Federal Government with a view to suspending the planned strike to allow for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions above.”