Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), on Thursday, appealed to organised labour ahead of the nationwide strike from Monday.
The SGF noted that President Muhammadu Buhari never wanted oil sector deregulation.
He recalled that the recommendation was made to him in 2015, NAN reports.
Mustapha said these in reaction to labour unions’ opposition to the hike in prices of electricity and petrol.
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have vowed to shut down Nigeria.
Mustapha explained that the increments were not intended to cause pain or harm.
The decision was taken in the utmost interest of all people, he stressed.
Noting that he was on Presidential Transition Committee, the SGF said one of the team’s decisions was deregulation.
“President Buhari objected to it. Thereafter, the issue was reflected in the final report. There was the need to consider seriously the issues relating to deregulation of petroleum sector and the need to look at energy sufficiency and efficiency, and what needed to be done.
“When the report was submitted to President Buhari, his reaction was that the Nigerian people elected him not to inflict pain on them. Five years down the line, that decision has become imperative and cannot be tampered with, it is a decision that must have been painfully considered.”
The SGF said the National Minimum Wage was implemented over a year ago but that COVID-19 had disrupted the economy of the country and others.
The National Industrial Court has restrained NLC and TUC from embarking on strike.
Deliberations between the federal government and union leaders will continue on Monday.
A meeting held in Abuja yesterday failed to reach an agreement.