The Nigerian government has admitted it cannot immediately implement some key agreements reached with labour unions after the October 2023 fuel subsidy removal protests.
This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, while addressing journalists in Abuja on Friday.
One of the agreements is the establishment of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) conversion centres, a measure to ease the economic pain of subsidy removal.
While acknowledging progress on setting up these centres, Onyejeocha stressed that they won’t be ready before the February 9 strike deadline set by labour unions.
She said: “These agreements, all of them are not going to be done the same day. Some can’t be done in two, three or four months. Like the CNG, it is a process that’s ongoing, and I’ve just told Nigerians what the CNG group has been doing in the last four months.
“We’ve commenced deliveries on those agreements. We’ve been reaching out to the organised labour because the President is committed to these agreements, he has good faith, that’s why we don’t want anybody to shut down the economy at any time because it will affect everybody.
“It’s like you want to pull down the whole roof of a house, meanwhile, you’re still inside the roof. We’re not shying away from implementing the agreements we’ve entered with the organised labour.”
She announced the government has procured 11,500 CNG vehicles, including buses and tricycles, soon to be launched by President Tinubu.
According to her, the ministry shall liaise with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) to ensure that the visitation to the refineries for on-the-spot assessment of the refineries is done without further delay.
She added, “In line with the government ongoing commitment to improving the welfare of Nigerians, provisions have also been made for an initial 55,000 CNG conversion kits as part of the commencement of the auto gas conversion programme.
“Development of the state-of-the-art CNG conversion centres nationwide is also ongoing with the aim to deliver 1 million converted bi-fuel CNG/PMS vehicles to enable transporters and mass transit operators convert their vehicles that run on PMS to gas (which is forty to fifty percent cheaper than PMS).”
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