…Supports Tinubu’s development agenda
…Economic stability our priority in 2024 – Shettima
The National Economic Council (NEC) Thursday appealed to the leadership and members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to shelve their planned nationwide strike over removal of fuel subsidy.
On Tuesday, the NLC and TUC said members of the organised labour would commence an indefinite strike from October 3, 2023 to protest the economic hardship Nigerian workers are facing as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government.
Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the 136th NEC meeting chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima in Abuja, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau state said the council appealed to the labour centres to give explore dialogue in pressing home their demands.
He said there was the need for the organised labour to give the federal government more time to unveil its planned palliatives for the workers.
“The National Economic Council (NEC) deliberated on the planned indefinite strike by the National leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to proceed on an indefinite strike on October 3, 2023.
“The council noted further the implications of the planned strike on the economy and the nation and thus urge members to continue to engage with the leadership of their respective states.
“It appeals to them to suspend the action and to continue on the path of dialogue with the federal government. This is the appeal of the council.
“We also believe that President Bola Tinubu will be addressing the nation on October 1, and some of the concerns of labour will be appropriately addressed in the president’s speech.
“It is therefore important to note that it’s a federation issue, so whatever happens the labour is represented in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“And NEC is appealing that discussion should continue at the state levels because there will be peculiarities as to the issues to be addressed concerning the demands of labour and therefore dialogue is the way to go,” he said.
Also speaking, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Atiku Bagudu, said National Economic Council expressed support for the eight-point agenda of the President, saying it has the key to the country’s development.
“The meeting appreciates all the eight-point agenda of President Bola Tinubu and his investment drive around the world and measures he has taken so far,” he said.
He said the NEC was satisfied with the collaborations between the central and state governments, and appealed to the sub-nationals to explore opportunities that now abound in the energy sector in line with the new Electricity Act.
“In particular the meeting agreed that there should be vigorous implementation of key resolutions in collaboration between the States and the Federal government.
“One of the resolutions highlighted is the energy sufficiency for sustainable economic development, government at all levels should promote the migration of heavy duty industry system form fossil fuel to gas infrastructure as well as acknowledging that the new Electricity Act empowers States and individuals to participate in all components of the energy sector,” he said.
In his opening address at the NEC meeting titled, “Planning for Stability: Our Agenda for Economic Growth in 2024,” Vice President Kashim Shettima identified stability as one of the primes in the economic agenda of the Tinubu administration for the year 2024.
He said government at the federal, state and local government levels must remain committed to reevaluating their priorities, streamlining processes and making bold decisions that would reflect key social issues, including social protection, social investment and nutrition.
He told governors and other members of the National Economic Council that the weight of the tough decisions to rescue Nigeria’s economy depends on their cooperation and goodwill.
He said what has set President Bola Ahmed Tinubu apart as a Nigerian leader is the courage to embark on fixing the country’s economy through bold reforms.
“It took courage to embark on fixing an economy hindered by decades of political lip service. But that’s what has set President Bola Ahmed Tinubu apart: his bold reforms to reposition the economy and save it from further erosion,” he said.