The Technical Committee on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) Pricing Framework has submitted its report to the Federal Government and the Organised Labour. Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, made the disclosure while addressing newsmen at the end of a bipartite meeting with the Federal Government and organised Labour on Tuesday in Abuja. Ngige said that the meeting had been adjourned to Feb. 22, when it would deliberate on the report. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Technical Committee was set up with a mandate to come up with a viable framework for PMS price modulation and electricity tariff. Also, the committee was mandated to examine the two policies respectively in relation to the demands of the labour unions. NAN also reports that the meeting is a continuation of the series of meetings held in 2020 in a bid to persuade labour unions from embarking on industrial action over the increase in the price of petrol and electricity. The minister, therefore, said that the adjournment was to enable the representatives of Organised Labour subject the report to the analysis of their various organs. “The Committee on Petroleum Pricing has finished its work and sent in the report. We have received and adopted the report. “Labour also asked for some time to subject the report to their various organs. It is a technical report, so they need further elucidation from their technical and research teams,” he said. Ngige also noted that the report of the Technical Committee on Electricity Tariff would be ready in a week’s time, and would also be reviewed alongside that of Petroleum Pricing on Feb. 22, when the meeting would reconvene. However, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has also raised concerns over the possible effects that the three weeks postponement of the meeting could have on the availability of petroleum products in the market. Also, Mr Ayuba Wabba, President Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said that Organised Labour needed to do a broader consultation to come up with clear positions on what would be beneficial to both the Nigerian workers, and all Nigerians. Wabba noted that the issues at stake touched on the life of every Nigerian. ”The whole essence of what we are arguing about is how to bring not only the price stability but also affordability,” he said. Earlier, Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), assured Organised Labour of the government’s commitment to the implementation of decisions reached at the meeting. “Our pledge on the government side is that whatever decisions are reached, we will ensure that government honours its own part of the bargain, so that we can maintain and sustain industrial harmony in our nation,” he said. Also present at the meeting were the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari. Others were the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr Yerima Tarfa, Trade Union Congress (TUC) President, Mr Quadri Olaleye; among other government and Labour officials. The Federal Government had in November 2020 raised the depot price of petrol from N147.67 to N155.17 per litre, enforcing marketers to sell between 165 and 173 Naira per litre. (NAN)
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