The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has given a two-day nationwide strike notice for the 5th and 6th of September to protest the failure of the Nigerian government to proffer lasting solutions to the challenges caused by fuel subsidy removal.
The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, disclosed this on Friday during a press conference at the Labour House in Abuja.
Mr Ajaero explained that the decision to go on the warning strike was part of the resolutions reached at the NLC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on Thursday.
The union accused the Nigerian government of failure to implement some of its resolutions from its previous meetings.
“NEC in session of NLC resolved to embark on a total and indefinite shutdown of the nation within 14 working days or 21 days from today until steps are taken by the government to address the excruciating mass suffering and the impoverishment experienced around the country.
“To commence a two-day warning strike on Tuesday and Wednesday, 5th and 6th September 2023 to demonstrate our readiness for the indefinite strike later in the month and to also demand that the state vacates the illegally occupied national headquarters of the National Union of Road Transport Workers,” Mr Ajaero was quoted by Vanguard as saying.
On 29 May, during his inauguration, President Bola Tinubu announced the removal of subsidy on petrol. The development has caused hardship for many Nigerians with its attendant increase in the prices of goods and services.
On 2 August last month, the NLC and TUC led Nigerian workers in protests across the country over the increasing cost of living due to government policies, especially the removal of subsidies on petrol.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the nationwide protest called by the two labour unions was held in various state capitals. The Abuja protest was led by NLC President and TUC President Festus Osifo.
The Abuja protesters marched from the Unity Fountain to the National Assembly complex, where they were addressed by a senator, Ali Ndume, who promised that the Senate would intervene in the crisis.
However, after the conclusion of the Abuja rally, the leaders of the two labour unions met with Mr Tinubu.
At the end of the meeting, Mr Ajaero told journalists that “the issues we discussed are the same issues that led to the protest today.”
“He (President Tinubu) has expressed his position, made some commitments, which were taken side-by-side with what the Senate said, and we’re taking it back to the office with our colleagues to review it and release a document on our next line of action.”
Shortly afterwards, presidential spokesperson Dele Alake released a statement announcing that the NLC had agreed to call off the protests.
“Consequent upon the fruitful and frank discussion with President Tinubu and their confidence in his ability to encourage open and honest consideration of all the issues put forward by the Labour Movement, the Labour Leaders resolved to stop further protest,” Mr Alake wrote.
Mr Alake said the president promised the union leaders that one of Nigeria’s four refineries would commence operations by the end of this year.
“President Tinubu gave his commitment to the labour leaders that the Port Harcourt refineries will start production by December 2023 after the completion of the ongoing rehabilitation contract between NNPCL and Italian firm Maire Tecnimont SpA,” he wrote.
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