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The organized labor leadership reportedly stormed out of the scheduled meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, which was convened by the Presidential Steering Committee on subsidy palliatives.

Earlier, the Steering Committee had convened with a government delegation on Wednesday, during which both parties agreed to reconvene on Friday to receive updates from three subcommittees tasked with addressing various demands.

The government established the Steering Committee to devise measures that would mitigate the impact of fuel subsidy removal on workers.

According to Vanguard, Joe Ajaero, the President of the NLC, led his delegation to the Chief of Staff's office, the designated meeting venue, around 5pm on Friday, but they quickly exited the villa.

However, the meeting failed to proceed due to an alleged lack of quorum, as some Steering Committee members claimed.

Organized labor accused the federal government of exploiting these meetings to deceive the Nigerian public.

A source within the meeting verified that three subcommittees—Mass Transit, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), and Cash Transfer—were expected to brief the Steering Committee about measures taken to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal on workers. Labor representatives, however, asserted that government officials, who were part of these subcommittees, were conspicuously absent.

An evidently frustrated Steering Committee member commented, "They are not ready for the meeting, that's the truth." This member alleged that government representatives insisted on continuing the meeting despite the lack of quorum.

"They are using this as a façade to deceive Nigerians. There should have been three subcommittees—mass transit, CNG, and cash transfer—briefing us, the steering committee. But the government was unprepared," the source continued.

"In their opening remarks, they made excuses and wanted the meeting to proceed, even though a quorum was absent. We operate based on processes. So, what should one do in a meeting without a quorum? Adjourn due to a lack of quorum."

The source further added, "There was no one to engage with. The Chief of Staff was absent, and they are treating us like children."

Allegedly, Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, initially waited for the labor delegation, along with other government team members, in his Conference Hall. He later left to attend other official matters within the Villa while the government team continued to wait for organized labor's arrival.

Reportedly, the organized labor delegation, comprising members from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), encountered delays at the State House entrance gate (Mopol gate) due to a lack of clearance. It was noted that the labor delegation's names were not forwarded for gate clearance, causing the delay in their meeting attendance.


Lagos Community News Review 


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