The National Economic Council (NEC) has made an appeal to organised labour, urging them to reconsider their plan for a nationwide strike scheduled for October 3, 2023.
Following the 136th meeting of the NEC, Caleb Muftwang, the Governor of Plateau State, addressed State House Correspondents and highlighted the economic and national implications of the proposed strike. He called upon labour union members to continue engaging with their respective state leadership and implored them to set aside the strike action in favor of continued dialogue with the federal government.
The decision to embark on an indefinite strike starting on October 3, 2023, was initially announced on September 26 by Nigeria’s two major workers’ unions, the National Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress. The strike is intended to protest the cost of living crisis that emerged following the removal of petrol subsidies. In a joint statement, the union leaders emphasized that it would be a complete shutdown until the government addressed the demands of Nigerian workers and the broader population.
They expressed frustration with the Federal Government’s perceived lack of meaningful engagement and agreement on critical issues arising from the increase in petrol prices, which has resulted in significant hardship for Nigerian workers and the general populace.
Since May 29, labour unions have been protesting President Bola Tinubu’s decision to eliminate the long-standing subsidy that had kept fuel prices low but had been draining government finances. Despite several impasses, the government has encouraged unions to continue negotiations instead of resorting to strikes, as such actions could further impact the economy, which is already grappling with issues like double-digit inflation, forex shortages, and reduced oil production due to factors such as oil theft.