The meeting between the Federal Government and labour leaders to discuss the hikes in electricity tariff and fuel price on Sunday produced no result as the labour leaders walked out on the government officials at the meeting.
The meeting ended just over 10 minutes after it started following the refusal of the President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Quadri Olaleye to proceed with the meeting unless the government reverses the fuel pump price.
At the meeting held at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Olaleye insisted that the government must make a pronouncement that it has reversed the fuel price before the meeting can continue.
He accused the government of showing a high level of insincerity in discussions with the group, adding that the masses are finding it difficult to move freely while people in government are moving freely.
“So, I want to put it to the government that if today’s meeting does not look promising to solve those problems, honestly, we would mobilise to walk out of the meeting. The situation is getting tense and you are putting us at risk,” he added.
The Deputy President of the union, Joe Ajaero, reiterated the opinion of Olaleye, saying that the government has been slow in the implementation of resolutions reached at the meetings with the government.
Before asking the media to leave the hall, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, stated that the issue will be discussed during the business session but instead insisted on discussing the issue of palliatives first to the disapproval of the labour leaders when the meeting started.
The decision made the labour leaders to angrily walk out of the meeting that also had the the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Minister of State for Petroleum, Sylva Timipre, Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo and others in attendance.
The NLC General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, who addressed journalists outside the hall after the walkout said that the labour leaders realised that the government team was not willing to discuss the issue of the hike in fuel pump price.
However, Ngige, downplayed the situation, saying, “We felt that the item of increase in petroleum, having been listed at all as an additional item, would have satisfied everybody but they on that said they were calling for a recess. It is for me to re-invite them and I would do that within 24 hours.”