Tensions have eased somewhat, in the Nigerian polity, economy and homes, as Organised Labour has suspended its planned strike, scheduled for Tuesday October 3, by one month.

This follows a meeting with the Federal Government which had committed to a N35,000 monthly wage award to be paid to workers with effect from September, 2023. This is pending the implementation of a formal wage review.

The Federal Government held a meeting with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) as well as the Trade Union Congress (TUC) which carried on for upwards of ten hours in Abuja, Monday.

The decision to suspend the proposed strike was contained in a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) issued after the said meeting.

The MoU was signed by NLC President, Joe Ajaero,General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja;TUC President, Festus Osifo, and Secretary General, Nuhu Toro, for labour.

It was likewise signed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong; Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Dr Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; and Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, on behalf of the Federal Government.

The core of the document read: “The NLC and TUC accept to suspend for 30 days the planned Indefinite Nationwide strike scheduled to begin, Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023.

“The Federal Government grants a wage award of N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) only, to all Federal Government workers, beginning from the month of September, pending when a new national minimum wage is expected to have been signed into law.”

Labour is demanding a minimum wage increase of between 200 and 300 percent on the current Federal Government minimum wage which stood at N30,000 per month, before the recent increase.

Sources close to the labour unions said Organised Labour had decided to break their demands into two tranches, leading with the request for increased wages, for the purpose of prioritisation and to have a basis for the suspension of the scheduled strike, within the deadline which expired midnight, Monday October 2.

They further said they were looking to the Federal Government to make good use of the one month leeway, to come up with formal and documented national minimum wage terms and modalities, which would permit the Nigerian workers to hold their heads above current inflationary waters and breathe fresh air.

They added that within the same time frame, Organised Labour would continue to confer with the Federal Government on their other demands and press for implementation.

Labours other demands include a charge to make the nation’s refineries work, so as to reduce the costs of petroleum products; tax exemption for certain categories of workers; fast-tracking the availability of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and its technology as a cheaper alternative energy source to petrol; and the Federal Government’s effective monitoring of the states’ implementation of the N5 billion worth of palliatives to mitigate the effects of subsidy removal. Labour is further demanding that the Federal Government meet the needs of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), among which is a N1.3 trillion injection into the system for its revitalisation, as part of the pact reached in 2013; and the release of a N70 billion loan to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to stimulate the economy.

While many of these were touched upon by President Bola Tinubu in his October 1, Independence Anniversary address to the nation, labour sources say they want more specifics, in terms of numbers and time frames, to allow for anticipated impact assessment measurements.

See Full MoU below


Arising from the withdrawal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Federal Government and the resultant increase in the price of the commodity, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) issued a strike notice which had elapsed and they were poised to embark on a strike billed to commence on Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023. Consequently, a meeting was called by the Federal Government to avert the strike and after much discussion, the following agreements were reached:

The Federal Government grants a wage award of N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) only to all Federal Government workers beginning from the month of September pending when a new national minimum wage is expected to have been signed into law.

A minimum wage committee shall be inaugurated within one month from the date of this agreement.

Federal Government suspends collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on Diesel for six months beginning from October, 2023.

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Federal Government accepts to vote N100 billion for the provision of high capacity CNG buses for mass transit in Nigeria. Provisions are also being made for initial 55,000 CNG conversion kits to kick start an auto gas conversion programme, whilst work is ongoing on state-of-the-art CNG stations nationwide. The rollout aims to commence by November with pilots across 10 campuses nationwide.

The Federal Government plans to implement various tax incentive measures for private sector and the general public.

On the leadership crises rocking the NURTW and the purported proscription of RTEAN, the Federal Government commits to handling Labour matters in line with relevant ILO Conventions and Nigerian Labour Acts. A resolution of the ongoing impasse is expected by or before October 13.

The issue of outstanding Salaries and Wages of Tertiary Education workers in Federal-owned educational institutions is being referred to Ministry of Labour and Employment for further engagement.

The Federal Government commits to pay N25,000 per month for three months starting from October, 2023 to 15 million households, including vulnerable pensioners.

The Federal Government will increase its initiatives on subsidized distribution of fertilizers to farmers across the country.

The Federal Government should urge State Government through the National Economic Council and Governors Forum to implement wage award for their workers. Similar consideration should also be given to local government and private sector workers.

The Federal Government commits to the provision of funds as announced by the President on the 1st of August broadcast to the Nation for Micro and Small Scale Enterprises. The MSMEs beneficiaries should commit to the principle of decent jobs.

A joint visitation will be made to the refineries to ascertain their rehabilitation status.

All parties commit to henceforth abide by the dictates of Social dialogue in all our future engagements.

The NLC and TUC accept to suspend for 30 days the planned Indefinite Nationwide strike scheduled to begin, Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023.

This Memorandum shall be filed with the relevant Court of competent jurisdiction within one (1) week as consent judgment by the Federal Government.


Comrade Joe Ajaero
President NLC

Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, mni
General Secretary

Comrade (Engr) Festus Osifo
Comrade Nuhu A. Toro
Secretary General

Federal Government:
H.E. Simon Bako Lalong
Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment

Hon. Dr Nkeiruka Onyejeocha
Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment

Mallam Mohammed Idris
Honourable Minister of Information and National Orientation