The Federal Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have agreed to set up a 16-man committee to resolve the issues surrounding their disagreement on the recent hike in the pump price of petrol.
This forms the outcome of a meeting between both parties which took place on Wednesday in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) in Abuja.
He also announced the constitution of a board for the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency
Present at the meeting were the SGF, Mr Babachir Lawal, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who was a former labour leader.
The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, led the team from labour.
Mr Wabba told reporters that the labour union and the government were working on a peaceful resolution of the crisis.
He promised that labour would continue to engage the government on better working conditions for Nigerian workers
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, who is to chair the 16-man committee, pledged the commitment of the government to addressing the issues that led to the strike.
Governor Oshiomhole also threw his weight behind the Ayuba Wabba-led NLC.
The government had earlier insisted that until the NLC called off its strike, there would be no further negotiations after both parties had failed to reach an agreement at their meeting on May 17.
After few days of the strike, the NLC on Sunday called off the indefinite strike it embarked upon to protest the fuel price hike, a condition the Federal Government gave for resumption of talks with labour.
The Federal Government had on May 11 increase the price band of Premium Motor Spirit popularly referred to as petrol from 86.50 Naira to 145 Naira.
Announcing the increase, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said that the decision was taken to address the scarcity of the product that had lingered for months due to difficulty in getting foreign exchange for importation of the product.
Nigeria’s local refineries have not met the nation’s petrol need, as they produce below their capacity.
After the increase, the labour union described it as insensitive, declaring its readiness to resist the increase.
Days after, the NLC started an indefinite strike aimed at forcing the government to revert to the old price of 86.50 Naira, but the government said the strike was illegal, as it had secured a court injunction stopping the labour union from embarking on the indefinite strike.