The NLC has insisted that the Federal Government must revert the pump price of petrol to N65 a litre to enhance dialogue.
NLC’s president, Abdulwaheed Omar, made the position known after a three-hour meeting with the leadership of the Senate.
Present at the meeting were Senate President David Mark, the Minister of Labour, Mr Chukwuemeka Wogu and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Pius Anyim, representing the Federal Government.
Omar said at the end of the meeting that the NLC was prepared to dialogue with government, but that the latter must reverse the increase in the pump price of petrol effected on Jan. 1, before progress would be made.
“The level of progress today is that even though we’ve made progress, we have not reached the Promised Land.
“Because our own shifting of ground is that we are even talking; you know that earlier on, we had the mandate that we didn’t even want to talk because Federal Government had already done the deed.
“But now we are saying `go back to status quo and it will facilitate a better discussion’.’’
Speaking on the “no-work no-pay’’ position of the Federal Government, Omar said: “we are very much used to that; there is also the other side of the coin; we also know the meaning of “work-to-rule.”
According to him labour will continue to occupy the streets of Nigeria until it gets the desired result – the reversal of petrol price to N65 a litre.
In his remarks, Sen. Pius Anyim Pius told newsmen that the negotiations had so far been encouraging and expressed the hope that both parties would reach a fruitful conclusion soon.
“We sincerely want to thank the Senate through the Senate President who has provided this forum.
“I can tell you he has been very wonderful and we hope that the efforts of the Senate will soon bring the whole matter to a very, very speedy conclusion.”
Commenting on the outcome of the meeting, Wogu said: “we’ve made great progress.”
The withdrawal of subsidy on petrol raised its pump price from N65 a litre to between N138 and N141 a litre since it was announced on Jan. 1.
Labour and civil society groups called workers out on strike on Jan. 9 to protest government’s action and demanded a reversal.