NLC to Paralyse Economy with Two-Day Strike over Fuel Subsidy Removal

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has declared its readiness to embark on a two-day nationwide warning strike to protest against the severe economic hardships caused by the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.

The strike, which is scheduled for Tuesday, 5 and Wednesday, 6 September 2023, has received the backing of various stakeholders, including the banking sector, civil society organisations, and workers’ unions, who have joined forces to demand a solution to the growing economic crisis in the country.

The National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE), the umbrella body of workers in the banking and insurance industry, has vowed to participate in the strike, effectively bringing financial activities across Nigeria to a halt.

In a statement signed by its General Secretary, Mr Mohammed Sheikh, NUBIFIE highlighted the importance of their involvement in the two-day warning strike by the NLC, stating that they needed to draw the government’s attention to the dire economic situation faced by Nigerians.

The leadership of NUBIFIE has issued a notice that all banks will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, in compliance with the NLC two-day strike directive.

“The directives are imperative to get the needed attention of the government and to warn it against interfering in the internal affairs of unions instead of addressing the punishing economic circumstances we find ourselves in,” the statement said.

Speaking with The PUNCH, the Senior Deputy General Secretary of NUBIFIE, Mr. Aboderin Olusola, reaffirmed their commitment to the NLC’s cause, stressing the need for solidarity among industrial unions during these challenging times.

Olusola said, “It was NLC’s directive to all the industrial unions and NUBIFIE didn’t have any option than to issue that circular to all our members and management of banks and insurance companies in Nigeria.”

Adding their voice to the outcry, the United Action Front of Civil Society (UAFCS) has expressed its full support for the NLC’s two-day warning strike.

In a statement signed by the Head of the National Coordinating Centre for UAFCS, Wale Okunniyi, the organisation condemned the hardship imposed on Nigerians by the government’s decision to remove fuel subsidies and subsequently increase the price of premium motor spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has also endorsed the NLC’s two-day warning strike. This was contained in a letter on Monday titled, ‘Compliance to the Nigerian Labour Congress directive on a nationwide two-day warning strike’, signed by the Head of Media, MWUN, John Ikemefuna.

The PUNCH reports that on Friday, the NLC in a communiqué jointly signed by its National President, Joe Ajaero and Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, said it decided to embark on a two-day warning strike following what was described as the failure of the Tinubu-led Federal Government to dialogue and engage stakeholders within the organised labour on efforts to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal on PMS on the “poor masses”.

The President General of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, directed all its affiliates to join the two-day nationwide strike.

He said, “This decision is due to the Federal Government’s refusal to engage and reach an agreement with the organised labour on critical issues of the consequences of the unfortunate hike in the price of petrol, which has unleashed massive suffering on Nigerian workers and the generality of the Nigerian citizens.”

“The MWUN as an affiliate of the NLC, is obliged to comply with the directive and has consequently instructed all our members in all ports, jetties, terminals, and oil and gas platforms nationwide to partake on the two days total shut down warning strike as directed by the NLC.”

The two-day strike is set to be a major test of strength between the NLC and the Federal Government. It remains to be seen whether the strike will be successful in forcing the government to change its course.

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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: [email protected]

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