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Tinubu Requests Extension to Address Labor Concerns Amid Fuel Price Hike

President Bola Tinubu has made a heartfelt appeal to organized labor, urging them to grant him more time to address their grievances instead of resorting to industrial action. The plea was revealed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, after he and his leadership team briefed the president on their engagement with the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), who had declared a nationwide strike.

President Tinubu expressed that being new in office, he needed time to thoroughly evaluate the issues raised by the workers, as he had not yet been fully briefed on the matter. He requested that labor give him some additional time to properly understand the concerns they have raised.

During their meeting with NARD, the House leadership was able to persuade the union to postpone their planned strike action. The purpose of their visit to the presidential villa was to inform the president about the progress made in discussions with the doctors association.

In the meantime, the Special Adviser to the President on Energy, Olu Verheijeh, held talks with the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress at the presidential villa to continue discussions on palliatives aimed at mitigating the impact of fuel subsidy removal. The steering committee focused on finding ways to expedite interventions, particularly in areas such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), mass transportation, cleaner energy, and reducing transportation costs.

Despite these efforts, the President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, asserted that organized labor remained committed to their plans for a protest on August 2. He stated that their position on the issue was clear, and they were determined to carry out their protest.

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In conclusion, President Tinubu’s appeal to organized labor for more time to address their grievances reflects his commitment to understanding the issues raised and finding solutions. The ongoing discussions with labor leaders and the steering committee demonstrate the government’s efforts to explore palliative measures to alleviate the impact of subsidy removal. However, despite these discussions, labor leaders have maintained their stance on holding a protest to push for their demands.