Except there is a truce, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has galvanized its affiliate unions to commence a strike on Monday September 28, 2020 in protest of government insensitivity towards the Nigerian citizens. The NLC had called on government to reverse the increase in the pump price petroleum products and also electricity tariff, considering that the coronavirus had dealt heavy blow on most families and businesses.
The National Industrial Court, Abuja, had on Friday granted an order of interim injunction restraining the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, their agents, employees, workmen, servant or proxies from embarking on the planned Sept. 25 industrial action of any nature pending the hearing and determination of the claimants’ motion of notice. The NLC had vowed to proceed with the planned strike especially as the Federal Government has failed to reverse the hike in electricity tariff and fuel price.
Emerging from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the proposed action by the organised labour would proceed. He stated that the decision was unanimously taken by the chairmen of the 36 states and FCT chapters of the NLC. The NLC’s Central Working Committee (CWC) had on September 17 issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to reverse the hike in electricity tariff and pump price of petrol or workers would embark on a nationwide protest.
According to Wabba, the NEC after its extensive deliberations resolved to reject the hike in electricity tariff by almost 100 percent and also reject the fuel price increase in the name of deregulation. Said he: “This decision, alongside other decisions of the government including the increase of VAT by 7.5 per cent, other numerous charges by commercial banks on depositors, without any explanation will further impoverish Nigerian workers and citizenry, including their families. “Therefore, this is coming in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is not only ‘ill-timed’, but it is also counterproductive”.
He said that NEC also observed that the privatisation process that was done seven years ago had not yielded any positive result and that the entire sector was sold at about N400 billion, noting that the Federal Government within the last four years had injected N1.53 trillion over and above the amount that was used to sell those important assets. Meanwhile, The Federal High Court staff across the country have indicated their intention to commence a twoweek strike beginning from Monday September 28 over the recent increase in the electricity tariff and fuel pump price.
Copies of the notice for the strike were pasted in and around the Federal High Court Headquarters building in Abuja by the court staff, under the aegis of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN). JUSUN said all its members would abandon their duties in line with the industrial action planned by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to begin on Monday.
The notice, which was not signed, reads:”Please be informed that the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Federal High Court chapter shall, in collaboration with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), commences a two-week indefinite strike action from Monday the 28th day of September, 2020. “All offices shall remain closed within this period. You are required to comply.”