Labour and Employment Minister, Rt. Simon Bako Lalong has appealed to the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to Hold the strike until President Bola Tinubu returns from India.
Tinubu is currently in New Delhi for the G20 summit.
On Sept. 1, NLC President Joe Ajaero announced that unions would begin a two-day warning strike starting Tuesday, citing the public impact of removing petrol subsidies.
On Monday, Hon. Simon Lalong appealed to the NLC to call off the warning strike. Lalong said such a strike would undermine the profits the new government would generate.
On Tuesday, the minister assured the NLC in a broadcast by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) that the problems that led to the strike would be resolved when Tinubu returned home.
According to NLC, the two-day warning strike is to prepare for a 14-day strike,” Lalong said.
“Even before 14 days, when the president comes back from India, I am sure many of those issues that were raised, I promise we will handle them before the 14 days.
“I said to them, the president just travelled. We pray that he returns safely and then we will now continue from where he left and I also appealed to them.
“Their complaints were that it is taking too long, government was not reaching out to them and I said no, it was because the president was also busy trying to assemble the cabinet because there were no cabinet ministers in place.
“Now that the cabinet ministers are in place, I am your minister.
“You have tabled it before me formally so that I can now proceed and reach out to the president to see whether we have failed.
“You have not tabled the matter before me. You are jumping into conclusion that the matter would not be handled, which is quite unfortunate as far as I am concerned because we are supposed to be brothers, we are supposed to be friends.
“And if you table it before me, wait and see whether we can handle it or not.”
“So, there was no need to even engage in the two-day strike because the purpose of engaging in the strike was because there was no attention as far as they were concerned, given to them.
“But at that period, the cabinet was not in place and I said certain issues would require the cabinet to take a decision.
“There were also issues about the wage reward which according to them, Mr. President promised.