What you need to know:
- The strike had also sought to make the government to reverse the recent increase in the price of petrol.
- They will await the outcome of a technical committee report to determine the merit of such an increase.
- The technical committee will work for two weeks effective September 28, 2020.
- The agreement was signed by on September 27, 2020.
Tension has eased in Nigeria after parent labour unions suspended a national strike which was slated to begin Monday, September 28, 2020. The strike was called off after the federal government agreed to suspend a hike on electricity tariffs and to involve the unions in national economic issues.
The suspension of the strike was announced by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), a parent body of 65 workers’ unions and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), a major organisation of senior staff.
The strike had also sought to make the government to reverse the recent increase in the price of petrol following the full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry and the removal of subsidy for petroleum products.
Labour leaders and government representatives agreed to suspend the planned hike in electricity tariffs for two weeks pending the outcome of a technical committee report to determine the merit of such an increase.
The technical committee comprising ministries, departments, agencies, NLC and TUC, and will work for two weeks effective September 28, 2020.
It will examine the justifications for the new policy on the price of electricity in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost reflective tariff due to conflicting information from the fields which appeared different from the data presented to justify the new policy by Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
Deployment of meters
The committee will also look at deployment of meters and challenges and timelines for a massive roll-out.
The labour movement will now be represented in the boards of electricity distribution companies in which the federal government is holding 40 per cent shares.
The committee will advise the Nigerian government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the six million meters and look into the NERC Act, which is under review, with a view to expanding its representation to include organised labour.
In the petroleum sector, the parties agreed that there is ab urgent need to increase local refining capacity so as to reduce over-dependence on the importation of petroleum products.
This they agreed, will ensure energy security, and reduce the cost of finished products in order to increase employment and business opportunities for Nigerians.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to expedite the rehabilitation of the nation’s four refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna. It is also expected to achieve 50 per cent completion of Port Harcourt by December 2021, while timelines and delivery for Warri and Kaduna will be established by the inclusive steering committee.
"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 (Nupeng) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (Pengassan) into the steering committee already established by the corporation.’’
The federal government will facilitate the delivery of licensed modular and regular refineries, involvement of upstream companies in petroleum refining and establishment of a framework for financing in the downstream sector.
NNPC will also expedite work on the build operate and transfer framework for the nation’s pipelines and strategic depots network for efficient transportation and distribution of petroleum products to match the delivery timelines of the refineries as agreed.
The agreement was signed by on September 27, 2020 by Mr Ayuba Wabba, the President of NLC, Mr Quadri Olalaye of TUC and representatives of petroleum unions as well as high ranking government officials including the labour minister.