The organised labour on Thursday served the federal government notice of its intention to embark on industrial action following the failure of government to implement the 16 – point agreement with government on October 2, 2023. Specifically, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) are concerned that despite organised labour’s efforts
The organised labour on Thursday served the federal government notice of its intention to embark on industrial action following the failure of government to implement the 16 – point agreement with government on October 2, 2023.
Specifically, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) are concerned that despite organised labour’s efforts to ensure industrial peace, government seems unperturbed by the mass suffering and hardship across the country.
Even without Labour’s prompting, residents of Minna, Lokoja and Kano had in the last few days taken to the streets to protest the unfavorable economic situation in the country.
On 2 October,2023, government entered an agreement with labour which “focused on addressing the massive suffering and the general harsh socioeconomic consequences of the ill-conceived and ill-executed IMF/World Bank-induced hike in the price of PMS and the devaluation of the naira. These dual policies have had, as we predicted, dire economic consequences for the masses and workers of Nigeria.”
The organised labour in a statement on Thursday lamented that: “it is regrettable that we are compelled to resort to such measures, but the persistent neglect of the welfare of citizens and Nigerian workers and the massive hardship leave us with no choice.
“Constrained by this development and recognising the urgency of the situation and the imperative of ensuring the protection and defence of the rights and dignity of Nigerian workers and citizens, the NLC and TUC hereby issue a stern ultimatum to the Federal Government to honour their part of the understanding within 14 days from tomorrow, the 9th day of February 2024″.
On 27 July,2023 the Organised Labour said its nationwide strike to protest the removal of petroleum subsidy will proceed as planned.The strike, scheduled to begin on Wednesday 2 August,2023 was aborted although the unions had expressed doubt regarding the ability of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to effectively control inflation and petrol price due to the unification of the exchange rate a week earlier.
Comrade Joe Ajaero, President of the NLC, said the plan for workers to engage in a peaceful protest starting from Wednesday 2 August 2023 remain unchanged. He dismissed fears of the protest being hijacked by hoodlums, saying that such incidents have never occurred in the history of workers’ protests.
The labour leader also highlighted the challenges faced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in resisting tariff increases, as well as the significant increase in the price of corn in rural areas.
Also, the organised labour called its members out of their duty posts on 3 October, 2023 over cost of living in the country. Again this was aborted.
The labour unions on 13 November 2023 directed their members to embark on an indefinite strike, midnight, to protest the maltreatment of the NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero in Owerri, Imo State .
But the Presidency described the planned strike action by the organised labour as an illegal attempt to blackmail the government. The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, in a statement then said the planned action is an abuse of privilege and one that contravene a restraining order by the Industrial Court against the strike.
He noted that Comrade Ajaero’s assault in Imo state though condemnable is a personal issue that shouldn’t force the whole country into punishment.
A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, ordered the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration to fix the prices of goods and petroleum products within seven days.
Justice Ambose Lewis-Allagoa granted the order sequel to an originating motion filed and argued by the applicant and human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
Granting the order, the judge said: “I have heard the applicant Femi Falana in a suit no FHC/L/CS/869/2023 and I have also discovered that despite the service of the originating motion on the respondents, namely Attorney-General of the Federation and the Price Control Board, there is no opposition to it by way of counter affidavit, which is law that all the facts deposed in the affidavit attached to the originating motion are all deemed admitted.
“Consequently, all prayers that are sought for in the motion papers are hereby granted as prayed.
The judge ordered the Nigerian Government to fix the price of milk, flour, salt, sugar, bicycles and its spare parts, matches, motorcycles and its spare parts, motor vehicles and its spare parts, as well as petroleum products, which include: diesel, petrol motor spirit (PMS) and kerosene.