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NLC Threatens Strike Over Fuel Price Hike

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to cal out its members on a nationwide protest over the recent increase in the pump price of  premium motor spirit otherwise known as petrol.

Rising from a meeting on Tuesday, labour leaders gave President Bola Tinubu’s administration a seven-day ultimatum to reverse what they consider “anti-poor” policies.

A communique issued at the end of their Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting warned that the NLC would direct a total and indefinite strike starting from Wednesday, August 2, 2023, if the Federal Government fails to address their concerns.

The communique, co-signed by NLC President Joe Ajaero and General Secretary Emmanuel Ugboaja, expressed the NLC’s discontent with the government’s treatment of the Nigerian people, labeling it as showing “disdain and contempt” towards the citizens and creating a “war of attrition” against workers and the masses.

Specifically, the NLC referred to President Bola Tinubu’s speech on May 29, 2023, where he stated that the fuel subsidy is permanently removed. Since then, the NLC claimed that the peace of mind among Nigerians has been disrupted, accusing the government of treating citizens as “slaves” and acting with impunity.

One of the major grievances highlighted in the communique was the alleged manipulation of petroleum product prices by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), which the NLC viewed as a move to favor the wealthy while burdening the poor.

The NLC also expressed doubt about the government’s commitment to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with NLC and TUC (Trade Union Congress).

The NLC’s demands included an immediate reversal of all “anti-poor” policies, the recent hike in PMS prices, increased public school fees, and the release of eight months’ withheld salary of university lecturers and workers. Additionally, the NLC called for the prompt inauguration of the Presidential Steering Committee.

The ultimatum given to the Federal Government is seven days, within which the NLC expects the government to address their demands and take action to reverse their perceived “anti-poor” and “anti-workers” policies.

Should the government fail to meet these demands, the NLC plans to initiate a nationwide action, starting on August 2, 2023. This action is intended to compel the government to reconsider its policies that have sparked public outrage.

The NLC emphasized its readiness to lead and organize mass protest rallies across the country to demonstrate their discontent with the government’s actions and policies, which they described as “inhuman.”

In conclusion, the Nigeria Labour Congress is taking a firm stand against what they see as detrimental policies, and they are urging the government to take prompt action to address their concerns and avert a nationwide strike.

 

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