NLC Declares Nationwide Strike Over Fuel Price Hike
Since efforts to settle the conflict between the FG and the NLC have failed, a strike has been declared.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has announced a statewide strike that would start next Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in reaction to nationwide gasoline shortages.
After President Bola Tinubu announced the end of fuel subsidies during his inauguration address, merchants were concerned, which led to these shortages.
Following a National Executive Council of the Union emergency meeting in Abuja, NLC President Joe Ajaero announced the strike.
The government was given until a certain date to restore Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), often known as gasoline, to its original price. The union issued an ultimatum, and the government did not comply. If the Federal Government does not heed his warnings, Ajaero said, the strike would worsen and turn into a nationwide, unending protest.
Many people have reacted negatively to President Tinubu’s position on gasoline subsidies. He announced the end of the subsidy payment era in his inaugural address and said that the budget for 2023 does not contain any funding for such subsidies.
Infrastructure and other initiatives to boost the economy will get the previously allocated money.
However, the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria are vehemently opposed to Tinubu’s choice, contending that the President is not authorized to take away gasoline subsidies unilaterally or without consulting the public.
Festus Osifo, president of the TUC, emphasized that it was on purpose that the “sensitive issue” had been left for the next administration to resolve.
There have been no effective conversations to settle the conflict between the administration and the NLC. Reps for the Federal Government and the NLC recently met, but no agreement was reached.
Speaking on behalf of the government were spokesman Dele Alake, NNPC Group CEO Mele Kyari, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, and former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole. Joe Ajaero, president of the NLC, and Festus Osifo, president of the TUC, represented the labor movement.
To go on with future talks, the NLC insisted that the government reinstate the former gasoline price at the meeting. The most recent statement from the administration was rejected, Ajaero said, since there had been no conversations about palliative measures for the Nigerian people.
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