In a significant move, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has declared a two-day warning strike scheduled to commence on Tuesday, September 5. The decision comes in response to the NLC’s dissatisfaction with the Federal Government’s handling of the challenges arising from the removal of fuel subsidies.
The announcement was made during a press conference at the Labour House in Abuja by NLC President, Joe Ajaero. Ajaero shed light on the resolutions passed during the NLC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held the previous day. He expressed concerns that the government had seemingly abandoned negotiations and had not implemented resolutions reached in previous discussions.
This strike follows a nationwide protest staged by organized labor on August 2. The protest aimed to draw attention to what the NLC perceived as the government’s anti-people policies, particularly under the administration of President Bola Tinubu. Collaborating with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and their affiliated unions, the NLC organized demonstrations in multiple states, including Lagos, Abia, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Rivers, Zamfara, Katsina, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Kwara, Ogun, Imo, Ondo, and Edo.
During the protests, the NLC presented a list of demands, including the immediate reversal of what they considered “anti-poor policies” by the federal government. These policies encompassed the recent increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), hikes in public school fees, and the release of eight months’ worth of withheld salaries for university lecturers and workers. The NLC also called for a substantial increase in the minimum wage from N30,000 to N200,000, citing concerns raised since the President’s inauguration speech on May 29, 2023, which marked the end of the fuel subsidy.
Despite multiple meetings between union representatives and the Presidency aimed at providing palliatives to alleviate the hardships resulting from the removal of petrol subsidies, a mutually agreeable solution has not been reached. Joe Ajaero, the NLC President, voiced concerns that the approved allocation of N5 billion to each state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to cushion the impact of the subsidy removal was insufficient to bring meaningful relief to the affected Nigerians. He questioned whether the funds were intended as a loan or as direct palliative measures and expressed doubts about the effectiveness of such a limited financial aid package.
The NLC remains committed to advocating for the interests of the Nigerian people. They emphasize the importance of addressing the economic challenges posed by the fuel subsidy removal in a more comprehensive and impactful manner.
Source: Channels Television.
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