The Federal Government has said organised labour neither compromised nor betrayed workers in the negotiations that led to the suspension of its planned strike.
Earlier reported NLC and TUC had agreed to suspend the strike over the increase in petrol and electricity tariff on Monday morning after meeting with the federal government.
Following the development, Nigerians had condemned the action by labour, accusing its leaders of compromise and betrayal.
Speaking in an Interview with TVC on Friday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that labour was patriotic by suspending the strike.
He said after days of negotiations, labour agreed with the government that deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector is a necessity and not an option.
“The moment we lost as much as 60 per cent of our earnings and suffered a kind of shock in crude oil prices, we must deregulate.
“Between 2006 and 2019, we paid N10.413 trillion in fuel subsidies, an average of N743.8 billion per annum.
“The simple truth is that the government can no longer afford to subsidise PMS and the subsidy has never benefited the common man.
“What the two parties agreed upon are things that must be done to mitigate the effects of the deregulation on the workers, ’’ the minister said.
The minister also revealed that the government agreed with labour that it would facilitate the setting up of many modular refineries and rehabilitate existing regular refineries to cushion the effects of the deregulation.
According to him, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources would intensify efforts to ensure that Nigerians could get alternatives such as gas to power their vehicles and machinery.
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