The Federal government has announced that the Value Added Tax (VAT) on Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), also known as diesel, will be suspended for the next six months in order to ease the hardship felt by the removal of fuel subsidy by Tinubu's administration.
This was among the resolutions discussed at the meeting between the federal government and members of organised labour at the State House, Abuja, on Sunday.
The government called the meeting to deliberate with the NLC and TUC over the proposed indefinite strike scheduled to commence on October 2, 2023, over the hardship felt by the removal of the fuel subsidy.
The meeting had in attendance the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, and other ministers who represented the federal government.
The labour team was represented by the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, and the TUC President, Festus Osifo, amongst other members of their union.
At the end of the meeting, the Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, said that the federal government is ready to provide adequate funds for Medium and Small Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
He also added that the government will speed up the introduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to tackle the issue of the hike in transportation due to the removal of fuel subsidy.
The Federal Government will commence the payment of N75,000 to 15 million households at N25,000 per month for a three-month period beginning from October-December 2023.
A sub-committee is to constituted to work out the details of implementation of all items for consideration regarding government interventions to cushion the effect of oil subsidy removal.
NLC and TUC will consider the offers by the Federal Government with a view to suspending the planned strike to allow for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions above.
How NLC and TUC Responded to the FG
Concerning the resolution given by the federal government, the NLC and TUC said that they will discuss it in the NEC to deliberate more on the government proposal.
Joe Ajero said,
I don’t have much to say than what the Chief of Staff has said. We’ve been meeting and we’ve looked at almost all the issues.
All the promissory notes from the government and we’ll look at how to translate them to reality and to be workable.
Then we’re going to take those promises to our organs, of course, you know these people here cannot just wake up and review and call off action.
So like he said, we’re hopeful that our organs will have a look at them and give us a fresh mandate on what next to do. So it’s a simple one.
Additionally, Tommy Etim Okon, who represented TUC President Festus Osifo, had this to say.
Let me on behalf of the TUC also point out the fact that we’ve had a series of conversations surrounding the issue raised and we do hope that by tomorrow we are going to get across to our organs so that we can also look at it and cross-fertilize ideas and see the way forward,” Okon said.
I’m sure we’re coming back again tomorrow for that.