13 January 2012
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan’s meeting with the leadership of Labour failed last night to resolve the petrol price crisis. It was inconclusive. The talks continue tomorrow.
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Abdulwaheed Omar declared after the meeting that the strike, which started on Monday, will continue today.
But he said Labour and the government shifted grounds.
The government asked Labour to call off its strike, besides insisting on “total” deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry – an action that shot up the price of petrol from N65 to between N138 and N200 per litre.
Labour insisited on reversal to N65.
But Omar did not give the details of the shift in positions.
After the five-hour negotiation, the government offered N120 per litre for petrol, down from N138 and N200 that it has been sold since January 1.
The government team said they would not go back to N65.
But Labour insisted on the mandate from workers – N65 per litre.
A source at the meeting said: “The President set the tone for the meeting with preliminary remarks which bordered on his usual points that everything was done in the interest of the nation and not to punish Nigerians.
“Shortly after the opening remarks, he left the negotiation hall with the Vice-President. But Senate President David Mark took over to moderate the session.