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NLC Threatens Nationwide Strike

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has issued a 7-day ultimatum beginning July 26, 2023, to the Federal Government to conclude negotiations or face indefinite nationwide strike action to commence with a protest on August 2, 2023. The union reached the decision to embark on strike at its meeting held on July 25 in Abuja. According to news reports, the NLC is demanding that the Federal Government reverses all of its policies that have proven to be detrimental to citizens, including the increase in the pump price of petrol and increase in fees for public schools.

This is coming despite of a court order obtained by the Federal Government on June 5, 2023, which barred the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from going on strike following the removal of petrol subsidy. It will be recalled that President Bola Tinubu announced the removal of petrol subsidy in May 2023 and the NLC had called for a nationwide strike, stating that the government did not put measures in place to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal. Following that, the Federal Government met with the NLC and the TUC and decided to set up a steering committee to look into the matter over a period of 8 weeks. Although the stipulated period has not elapsed, the NLC appears to have renewed its resolve to convey displeasure at the worsening living conditions of citizens through a nationwide strike action. In response to this, the Federal Government through the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Beatrice Jedy-Agba has reiterated that the court order restraining the unions from embarking on strike subsists, and advised them to explore negotiations. She also added that Federal and State governments were engaging stakeholders to cushion the effects of the subsidy removal.