The first day of the nationwide strike action called by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over the lingering national minimum wage issue recorded partial success in parts of the country.
The warning strike commenced midnight on Wednesday over the federal government’s failure to reconvene the tripartite committee constituted November last year to recommend a new national minimum wage for workers in the country.
On Wednesday, a last ditch effort by the federal government to avert the strike ended in a stalemate.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, told reporters the strike action would be total across the country.
But, PREMIUM TIMES correspondents’ reports showed the strike recorded partial success in some places, and total compliance in others.
In Abuja, the federal secretariat and environs, most ministries and government offices were virtually deserted as workers stayed away.
At the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, the gates were locked. Only scant number of senior staff reported for work.
The entrances to the ministries of finance, foreign affairs and environment were also closed. Only labour enforcement teams were seen moving from office to office to enforce complete compliance.
Some school children in the Federal Capital Territory, who went to school, were turned back home as their teachers also joined the strike.
However, the strike recorded little impact on the satellite communities of FCT: Kubwa, Mararaba, Karu, Gwagwalada, among others. Here, the people were seen going about their normal businesses unperturbed.
Most filling stations in the capital city and environs were still open for business throughout the day, apparently with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) assuring uninterrupted supply throughout the duration of the warning strike.
Kubwa, Gwagwalada and Airport express road witnessed the usual heavy traffic.
In Lagos, the usual busy Lagos State secretariat, Alausa, was completely shut down at 9.05 a.m., as police officers were seen at the gate to maintain security.
Also, a few banks, such as First Bank of Nigeria, United Bank for Africa, Guaranty Trust Bank, First City Monument Bank and Zenith were not open for business.
At Aka community Junior Secondary School, District 5, Aganju, principals were not sure if the ministry of education was going to join the strike or not.
Many filling stations in Lagos State and environs, including Mobil in Agidingbi, Oando in Maryland and others were still opened for business.
At the Technical College, Agidingbi, Ikeja, students were seen within the school premises in uniform, although an official said “the school complied with NLC directive.”
Other agencies, including the Lagos State Television, Federal Internal Revenue Service and federal ministries were forced to shut down.
In Jos, the Plateau State capital, activities at federal ministries, banks, schools, and other agencies were virtually locked down by the strike.
A visit to the Jos Federal High Court, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (AGSA) and other government agencies showed all entrances to their premises were locked.
Some primary schools such as Islamiya and Anguwan Rogo Primary Schools, students were asked to go home as their teachers were absent from work.
All the banks visited were shut down, as customers could only withdraw money from automated teller machines (ATMs).
In Ogun State, socio-economic activities in the state capital, Abeokuta, and the local government secretariats were shut down in compliance with the labour directive for workers to withdraw their services.
Most public schools had empty classrooms, as teachers stayed away from work.
At the governor’s office and the state secretariat within the complex, most of the workers said they were in the office briefly to mark the attendance register, “in case government planned to sanction those who stayed away.”
At the federal secretariat along the presidential boulevard, security operatives prevented human and vehicular traffic in compliance with the strike.
In Jigawa State, banks and schools in the state complied with the directives of the national headquarters of the labour union.
Most bank customers were stranded as they could not gain access into the banks, while others were seen frantically using the ATMs to withdraw cash.