Fuel Subsidy Removal: NLC Gives FG One-Week Ultimatum to Resolve Issues or Face Nationwide Strike

The Nigeria Labour Congress has given the Federal Government one week to negotiate and resolve the issues around the removal of fuel subsidy removal or face indefinite strike action. The leadership of the NLC revealed this in a statement to its affiliate unions. 

According to the NLC leadership, the current engagement with the government to address the challenges of the post-fuel subsidy removal era is yet to yield the desired result. It has directed all its affiliates and state councils to immediately begin mobilisation of workers and other Nigerians, including civil society allies, for industrial action should there be a stalemate in the negotiations.

The Central Working Committee of the Nigeria Labour Congress met Tuesday, July 25th, 2023, and set the date of August 2nd, 2023, for the nationwide strike. According to Comrade Chris Onyeka, a spokesperson of the NLC, “Since the committee was set up to work out the palliatives for workers and Nigerians, the committee hasn’t met. The government only set up the committee to give the impression that it was serious about doing something to ameliorate the pain of Nigerians.”

Earlier in the week, the leadership of the Trade Union Congress gave the Federal Government two weeks to reach an agreement on the fuel subsidy removal or face industrial action. The TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifoh, said the negotiations have not proceeded at the expected pace. 

He added that organised labour had summed up their demand under three key areas, which included the deployment of alternatives to the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), such as CNG, providing palliatives and reducing the cost of governance.

It will be recalled that the NLC and TUC, after meeting with the Federal Government team,  shelved a proposed strike last month. It was agreed that steps would be taken through extensive negotiations and a roadmap to mitigate the effects of the fuel subsidy removal on workers and households. 

The Federal Government, on June 6th, 2023, secured an injunction from the National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja, to restrain the NLC and TUC  from embarking on a nationwide strike.

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