NLC Threatens to Shut Down Nigeria, Gives FG One Week Ultimatum on Fuel Subsidy Removal

The organised labour in Nigeria has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, which will expire in about a week, to meet its demands or face an indefinite strike.

The workers union is protesting the removal of fuel subsidy and the inadequate palliatives given to Nigerians to cushion the effects of the economic hardship.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said it had no choice but to embark on an industrial action that would paralyse all commercial and economic activities in the country, after the Federal Government failed to honour its promises.

The NLC had earlier led a two-day nationwide warning strike last week to press home its demands.

According to the National Assistant General Secretary of the NLC, Mr Christopher Onyeka, the Federal Government had reneged on its agreement to restructure the committees that would oversee the distribution of palliatives and negotiate with the labour.

He said the government had also insulted Nigerians by sharing a bag of rice to a dozen citizens, while reportedly giving N100m each to members of the National Assembly.

Onyeka said the NLC was not in any negotiation with the government and called on Nigerians to join hands with the labour to make the government accountable and responsive to the people’s needs.

He said, “President Bola Tinubu promised Nigerians on his own on the television with the President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, that he was going to restructure the committees, but he did not do that, and since then the committees have not met and there has been no negotiation that is on-going. As it is, NLC is not negotiating with the government.”

He added, “Can you see the insult that a ward would share a bag of rice and the government calls that a palliative? It is an insult to Nigerians, whereas the government gave legislators N70bn and each of the legislators gets over N100m in a country where Nigerians are suffering. The FG is buying cars and houses of over N100m for each person and Nigerians are keeping quiet as if what is going on is a normal thing.

“NLC calls Nigerians to join hands together because they cannot do it alone. When NLC calls for action, people should come out, they should because it is a collective effort to make the government yield to the desires and the interest of Nigerians.”

Many civil servants have expressed their dissatisfaction with the removal of fuel subsidy, which has increased the cost of living and transportation. Some workers said they have resorted to skipping work, working from home, or engaging in other income-generating activities such as farming and trading to survive. Some workers are also planning to relocate abroad due to the harsh economic situation.

A civil servant based in Abuja, Judith Obiora, said, “Most of the offices at the Federal Secretariat are no longer filled up as they used to be before the fuel subsidy removal. Now, we only come to the office twice or thrice a week.”

Another civil servant who is planning to migrate said he could no longer cope with the high cost of living.

He said, “The situation in Nigeria is very terrible because the minimum wage no longer meets the cost of living. Civil servants are suffering because the prices of things have increased, and it is tough to cope these days. By the time you weigh everything, you will see that it is not worth it. Even as a businessman in this country, getting customers to patronise you is difficult, and getting your profit from the work you are doing is hard.”

The NLC has urged Nigerians to brace up for a possible showdown with the government if it fails to meet its demands within the stipulated time frame.

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Ilesanmi Adekanbi

Ilesanmi Adekanbi, writers and loves writing the story of politics, He is a movie addict. Adekanbi is a Senior Content Creator at Newsflash Nigeria contact me on email:

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