In a move that is sure to send shockwaves across the country, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has declared a nationwide strike from next Wednesday. The strike was called in response to the removal of fuel subsidy, which has led to widespread outrage and protests in different parts of the country.
According to Channels Television, the NLC made the announcement on Friday, June 2, after a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja. The meeting was called to discuss the fuel subsidy removal and the subsequent hike in the pump price of petrol, which has caused significant hardship for ordinary Nigerians.
The NLC has been a vocal opponent of the fuel subsidy removal, which it says will lead to an increase in the cost of living for ordinary Nigerians. The Congress has also accused the government of failing to consult with labour leaders before making the decision to remove the subsidy.
Speaking to reporters after the NEC meeting, NLC President Ayuba Wabba said that the strike was necessary to force the government to reverse its decision. He said that the NLC had exhausted all other options, including dialogue and negotiation, but that the government had refused to listen to labour’s concerns.
“We have no other option but to go on strike,” Wabba said. “We have tried to engage the government in dialogue, but they have refused to listen to us. We have no choice but to take this drastic step to protect the interests of Nigerian workers and the Nigerian people.”
The NLC’s decision to call a nationwide strike has been met with mixed reactions from Nigerians. While some have expressed support for the Congress, others have criticized the decision, saying that it will only lead to more hardship for ordinary Nigerians.
The government, for its part, has warned the NLC against going ahead with the strike. In a statement released on Friday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said that the government was willing to continue negotiations with the NLC in order to find a solution to the crisis.
“We appeal to the NLC to reconsider its decision to go on strike,” Ngige said. “We are willing to continue negotiations with the Congress in order to find a solution that is acceptable to all parties.”
The removal of fuel subsidy has been a contentious issue in Nigeria for many years. The government has argued that the subsidy is wasteful and that the funds saved can be used to fund critical infrastructure projects. However, labour leaders and other critics have said that the subsidy is necessary to protect ordinary Nigerians from the high cost of living.
As the country braces for the nationwide strike, many Nigerians are hoping that a solution can be found to the fuel subsidy crisis before it leads to further hardship for ordinary citizens.