‘The federal government has not shown enough commitment to tackling the impact of petrol subsidy,’ says labor leader
Nigerian workers resumed a nationwide strike Tuesday to protest the government’s failure to increase wages amid the high cost of living, transportation and a petrol hike.
Members from organized labor from universities, student unions, banking, aviation and transport sectors, said they embarked on the strike to demand prompt action by the government on current economic hardship in the country.
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Joe Ajaero said labor has declared a warning strike.
“We embark on a two-day warning strike on Tuesday and Wednesday and this precedes the 14 or 21 days of total shutdown for the failure of the government to address our demands. The federal government has not shown enough commitment to tackling the impact of petrol subsidy removal on Nigerians,” Ajaero told journalists in the nation’s capital of Abuja while monitoring the compliance of workers to the strike.
It is the second time in one month that workers have embarked on a strike.
Industrial action was suspended Aug. 2 after President Bola Tinubu promised to introduce palliative measures, repair collapsed refineries and increase salaries to cushion the economic hardship, said the labor leader.
Yusuf Inuwa, head of the labor union in northeast Borno State told Anadolu the strike was effective in the northern region.
In Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, marine workers shut down economic activities at the port.
“We aren’t happy that the government is losing huge revenue from this strike but we are doing it to respond to our demands,” Rasheed Oaldipo, a port worker told Anadolu.
Meanwhile, the government has been asking for more patience.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, said Monday that the protest and strike would be detrimental.
“It has become pertinent to appeal to the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to suspend its strike, as such action would be detrimental to the gains already being recorded on our course to securing a greater future for Nigerian workers and citizens,” he said.
The President of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Emeka Orji, said his members will not join the strike to ensure patients do not suffer.