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Planned Strike Will Cripple Nigeria, Senate Appeals To NLC

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Amid the impending nationwide strike declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Senate has issued an urgent plea, requesting that the labour union reconsiders its planned action.

The Senate’s appeal stems from a deep concern about the strike’s potentially drastic impact on everyday Nigerians, warning that the nation could be plunged into a state of extreme hardship.

Addressing the situation, the Senate on Monday expressed that while the legislative body respects the NLC’s right to protest, it is crucial to weigh this against the potential fallout that could greatly affect citizens’ daily lives and livelihoods.

With the Nigerian economy still reeling from the effects of the global pandemic and the ongoing recovery efforts, a widespread labour strike could further strain the economy, leading to inflation, scarcity of goods and services, and significant inconvenience to the populace.

The Senate also emphasized the legislature’s commitment to engaging in constructive dialogue with the NLC to address its grievances. By focusing on negotiation and communication, it is hoped that a compromise can be reached that safeguards the rights and interests of the workers, while also ensuring the smooth functioning of the nation’s economy.

The Upper Chamber further called upon other relevant stakeholders, including the Federal Government and private sector representatives, to join in the dialogue with the NLC. Such a broad-based discussion, it is hoped, would lead to a more comprehensive and long-lasting solution to the issues at hand.

As the nation watches the developments unfold, the collective hope is for a peaceful resolution that prioritises the welfare of workers and maintains economic stability. With the proposed strike looming, the call for dialogue and understanding has never been more critical.

On Tuesday July 25th, The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) issued a seven-day ultimatum to the President Bola Tinubu administration to reverse “all anti-poor” people policies including the hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as petrol.

In a communique at the end of its Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting, the labour union threatened to embark on a nationwide protest from Wednesday, August 2, 2023 should the Federal Government fail to do the needful.

The communique was co-signed by NLC President, Joe Ajaero; and the union’s General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja.

The NLC said the Federal Government has shown enormous disdain and contempt for the Nigerian people and have declared a war of attrition on Nigerian workers and masses.

The labour union said since the President’s “subsidy is gone forever” speech on inauguration day on May 29, 2023, “the peace of mind of Nigerians has gone”.

It said the “government has continued to treat Nigerians as slaves and a conquered people which it treats with impunity without any concern on the consequences”.

“That the Federal Government has continued in an unholy mission of robbing the poor to pay the rich in Nigeria as typified by its continued frustration of the activation of the agreed alternatives to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and new hike in prices of PMS to N617 per litre,” the communique partly read.

“That the NNPCL (Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited), has turned itself into the forces of demand and supply and fixes the price of Petroleum products while mouthing deregulation.

“That Government’s conduct suggests it does not intend to commit itself to the MoU it signed with NLC and TUC (Trade Union Congress).

The NLC thereafter demanded “the immediate reversal of all anti-poor policies of the federal government including the recent hike in PMS price, increase in public school fees, the release of the eight months withheld Salary of university lecturers and workers”.

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