The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria have resolved to begin an indefinite nationwide strike starting on October 3, 2023. This comes after a joint press briefing held by the leaders of the unions in Abuja on Tuesday. The NLC and the government have failed to reach an agreement on the best way to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal and the attendant hardship in the country on Nigerians.
Following Tuesday’s separate virtual National Executive Council meetings, the unions resolved to commence the strike on October 3 and urged Nigerians to stock up on food supplies for at least one week. The three-week ultimatum which was given by the NLC to the government expired last week.
The NLC President, Joe Ajaero and his TUC counterpart, Festus Osifo disclosed after their separate Emergency NEC meetings in Abuja on Tuesday that the Nigerian government had been insensitive to the plight of the citizens following the removal of fuel subsidy, which has pushed up the prices of food items, transport fare and other goods and services.
Unions have been pushing President Bola Tinubu to reverse his decision in May to scrap the decades-old subsidy that had kept fuel prices low but was draining government finances.
The government had urged unions to continue negotiations instead of resorting to strikes, saying this would hurt an economy grappling with double-digit inflation, foreign currency shortages and low oil production.
Prices have risen sharply, including the cost of food, transport and power as most businesses and households rely on petrol generators for electricity.