The meeting between the Federal Government and the organised labour on the hikes in fuel pump price and the electricity tariff on Sunday ended in confusion as the labour leaders walked out of the parley in anger.
The Trade Union Congress angrily walked out of the dialogue as the meeting with the Federal Government concerning fuel pump price and electricity tariff hikes did not end positively.
The meeting was reported to have ended barely 10 minutes after it began.
The negotiation ought to be held in order to deliberate on the resolutions performance at the Presidential Villa banquet hall, Abuja on Sunday.
The meeting which started at 8.18pm has the TUC President, Quadri Olaleye, raised the fuel pump price latest hike from N160 to N170 issue and insisted on the reversal before the commencement of the meeting.
Olaleye said, “Government is showing a high level of insincerity in discussions with us and is also putting us at risk with the people we are leading, with the masses. We find it difficult to move freely but the people in government are moving freely.
“I came to the conclusion that the major problem we have in this country is insincerity and this cannot continue.
“So, I want to put it to the government that if today’s meeting does not look promising to solve those problems, honestly, we would mobilise to walk out of the meeting. The situation is getting tense and you are putting us at risk.”
In contrary to the labour request, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said the hikes issue would be discussed during the business session and asked the media to leave the hall.
But as soon as journalists left the hall, Ngige was said to have told the organized labour that the issue of palliatives would be discussed first while the labour leaders insisted on discussing the fuel pump price hike.
The attendees of the meeting, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Minister of State for Petroleum, Sylva Timipre, Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo among others but with the disagreement, the labour leaders angrily walked out of the meeting.
The NLC General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, speaking with the journalists outside the hall, said the labour leaders walked out of the dialogue because the government team was not willing to discuss the hike in fuel pump price in which he said violated the agreement they had with the FG.
Ugboaja added, “We felt we should address the issue of petroleum prices before whether there is need for palliatives or not. On that strength, we felt we could not continue with the meeting whose agenda is wrongly prioritised.”
According to Ngige, he said nothing went wrong, “We felt that the item of increase in petroleum, having been listed at all as an additional item, would have satisfied everybody but they on that said they were calling for a recess. It is for me to re-invite them and I would do that within 24 hours.”