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Nigeria Government to Meet Labour Mid-April on Petrol Pricing, Tanker Drivers Threaten Strike  

Nigeria’s federal government and the organised labour will reconvene by the middle of April for their negotiations to finalise decision on the adjustment of petrol price  and electricity tariff. However,

Nigeria’s federal government and the organised labour will reconvene by the middle of April for their negotiations to finalise decision on the adjustment of petrol price  and electricity tariff.

However, tanker drivers, under the aegis of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), have threatened to withdraw services of their members if the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) fails to negotiate the renewal of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for new working conditions for them.

 

The federal government and the organised labour will reconvene their negotiations to finalise decision on appropriate pricing of petrol and electricity tariff by middle of April.

THISDAY gathered that the meeting will hold before the commencement of the Ramadan.

A source privy to the negotiations between the government and labour told THISDAY at the weekend that as part of moves to resolve the contentious issue of the appropriate pricing for petrol, the federal government side has been consulting others with a view to building a consensus on the matter.

He said the federal government had been considering the report of the joint committee of representatives of the federal government and organised labour on measures to  apply to moderate the fuel price template.

Last week, NNPC had lamented what it described as the heavy financial burden it was being made to bear in bearing the extra cost of petrol due to the differential in the landing cost and pump price of the commodity owing to the rising cost of crude oil in the international market.

It said that the current N165 pump price was no longer feasible, adding that the actual price should be N212 or above.

But the source told THISDAY that the new thinking of the government was that the appropriate pricing of petrol would now be decided by the various tiers of government as represented at the National Economic Council (NEC).

The source said: “The federal government has decided that the issue of subsidy should be discussed at the appropriate forum along with other tiers of government. As you know, NNPC has declared under-recovery of funds used in importation of petrol and the money used by the corporation to source petroleum products is from the Federation Account operated by the three tiers of government. So, we intend to discuss and arrive at a consensus on the modules to be adopted before meeting with labour.”

While speaking on the outcome of a bipartite meeting of the federal government and the organised labour in Abuja, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, had said that the labour had investigated the report of the Technical Committee on Petrol Pricing Framework as agreed at the last meeting and made its submissions. The NNPC also presented a report.

He said: “The labour side saw that they (NNPC) were making some points and like I said, it is work in progress.”

 Meanwhile, tanker drivers have threatened to withdraw their services if vehicle owners under the auspices of NARTO fails to negotiate the renewal of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for new working conditions for petroleum tanker drivers.

In a communiqué issued at the weekend after its executive council’s meeting, the fuel tanker drivers threatened to disrupt fuel supply by going on a strike if the government fails to enforce the compulsory installation of safety valves in all petroleum trucks to protect the inflammable contents of the trucks from spilling over in a situation of road mishaps.

PTD, in the communiqué signed by its National Chairman, Mr. Salmon Akanni Oladiti, however, issued a 14-day ultimatum to NARTO to initiate new conditions of service for petroleum tanker drivers with effect from March 27.

The drivers also urged the federal government to ensure that the installation of safety valve is made mandatory in all petroleum trucks with effect from May 1, 2021.

THISDAY

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