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Strike: Gbajabiamila calls for more time

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has appealed to the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to give more time for negotiations with the federal government over the proposed industrial action.

Labour unions had threatened to embark on industrial action from Monday if government refuses to the reversal of the increase in electricity tariff and Premium Motor Split (PMS).

Mr Gbajabiamila, in a meeting with NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, and the President of TUC, Quadri Olaleye, in his office on Sunday, expressed concern over the consequences of a shutdown of the nation’s socio-economic activitiee.

He said it was incumbent upon the House as elected representatives to see how they can intervene.

The speaker said: “In good conscience, we are on the same page, or most of the time, we’re on the same page, and you know, that we, the leadership of the House of Representatives are on the same page with you.

“But what is the consequence, and that’s the bigger picture of going on strike. When we have a complete government shutdown, the people we seek to protect, invariably end up holding the short end of the stick.

After the meeting, Wabba said the outcome of the interface with the executive as promised by the Speaker would determine the next line of action.

He said: “We told the Speaker how the discussion with the Federal government went and how the meeting was adjourned, so, he has also promised to try and intervene at his own level to see to it that we don’t inflict more pains on Nigerians.

If the issues are not addressed, we have given notice and that notice will certainly expire by tomorrow (Monday) and all the actions we have pronounced will take effect, he said.

The Speaker immediately left for the State House where he met with Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

IBRAHIM SHEHU

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