Next Wednesday will mark the beginning of a nationwide strike declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
News About Nigeria reports that the strike is a response to the fuel shortages plaguing the country, which were triggered by President Bola Tinubu’s declaration in his inaugural speech that “fuel subsidy is gone.”
Following an urgent gathering of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja, Joe Ajaero, the president of the NLC, delivered the announcement.
Ajaero stated that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, particularly the government, has until the following Wednesday to revert to the previous price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol.
Failure to meet this ultimatum will result in an indefinite protest nationwide.
During his inauguration speech at Eagle Square in Abuja on Monday, Tinubu declared an end to the era of fuel subsidy payments.
He emphasized that the 2023 budget does not allocate funds for fuel subsidy, rendering further payments unjustifiable.
Tinubu outlined his intention to redirect the funds into infrastructure and other areas to strengthen the economy.
Tinubu’s decision immediately triggered a resurgence of fuel queues throughout the country, with Nigerians scrambling to obtain the essential product.
However, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have opposed Tinubu’s decision.
According to organized labor, the president cannot unilaterally make a decision on subsidy removal.
TUC President Festus Osifo argued that the previous administration of Muhammadu Buhari purposely left this “sensitive issue” for the new government to handle.
A meeting held on Wednesday between the Federal Government and the NLC failed to reach a consensus after hours of discussions.
As part of their demands, the NLC insisted that the Federal Government must revert to the previous fuel price before engaging in further negotiations with the labor sector.
Ajaero emphasized that the government did not engage in any discussions regarding palliative measures for Nigerians, leading to the rejection of the latest announcement.