By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended the decision to shelve nationwide strike proposed yesterday following the federal government’s successful brokering of an agreement with the leaderships of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on the increase in electricity tariff and the price of fuel.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of APC Yekini Nabena, the party welcomed the decision as positive development inline with the proven pro-people stance of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration.
According to the statement, Buhari government has always put the welfare and interest of the masses first in policy decisions and implementation, even as it added that the shelved strike is a victory for the Nigerian masses.
The statement said “The federal government in temporarily suspending the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments by DISCOs to allow for an all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations is evident of government’s pro-people stance.
“Again, to reduce the cost of petrol, the federal government and labour agrees on the urgency to rehabilitate the nation’s refineries and increase our local refining capacity so as to reduce the overdependency on costly importation of refined petroleum products.
“To cushion the impacts of the downstream sector deregulation and electricity tariffs adjustment on the Nigerian masses, the federal government is among others implementing palliatives which can be easily assessed by Nigerian workers and financed from the Economic Sustainability Programme Intervention Fund with subsequent provision for 240,000 under the auspices of NLC and TUC for participation in agricultural ventures through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Ministry of Agriculture.
“Also, agreed is removal of tax on minimum wage to cushion the impacts of the policy on the vulnerable; immediate provision to organized labour of 133 CNG/LPG driven mass transit buses; 10% housing allocation to Nigerian workers under the ongoing Ministry of Housing and Finance initiative through the NLC and TUC, among others.
“The President Buhari government has made solid commitments to rechannel saved national resources from the stopped fuel subsidy and deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector to other critical sectors such as infrastructure, health and education. The APC calls on all well-meaning Nigerians and stakeholders to cooperate, partner and monitor the implementation these commitments and agreements reached by the federal government and organised labour.
“Finally, the Party welcomes President Buhari’s transmission of the much-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill 2020 to the National Assembly. No doubt, the PIB will provide necessary legal framework to the long-sought reforms and ongoing deregulation of the petroleum sector in the country”.