Nigerians advised to stock up on essentials as workers begin seven day national shutdown on Wednesday
The Nigerian National Labour Congress (NLC) has advised workers, students and market traders to stock their homes with food items, medicines and other essential items ahead of the commencement of its seven-day strike to protest the removal of fuel subsidies and the escalating cost of living in the country.
The NLC made the call Saturday in a series of posts on X as the Tinubu administration scrambled to find a solution to prevent the nationwide strike, called for a meeting with workers representatives on Monday.
It was necessary to give this directive as a national shutdown will paralyse the economy as workers in the transport, power, education and health sectors withdraw their services with markets closed for the duration.
National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, had given the government a seven-day ultimatum with threats of a nationwide strike scheduled to commence on Wednesday, August 2, 2023.
The Tinubu administration was accused of failing to meet up with the demands it presented to it following the removal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, which caused an astronomical rise in the pump price of the commodity.
“Arise, O Compatriots, Aluta Continua, Victoria Acerta; Say No to Oppression” The NLC leadership tweeted announcing the strike action.
“There is no Justice , Where the People are Oppressed #LetThePoorBreathe , It is our Responsibility. Come 2nd of August 2023 and be a part of History.” it stated.
“Nigerians should be prepared. That’s what we are saying. Being prepared means you have to stock food in your house and be economical with your movement at this particular point in time so as to avoid being stranded. It is going to be a nationwide mass protest and we are sure that it will affect every corner of the country. We are seriously mobilising across the nation. We are currently at work at the secretariat alongside the CSOs.” Assistant General Secretary, NLC, Chris Onyeka told newsmen.
“We may not shut down the power supply system, but as the protest goes on, we may shut down other places depending on the response of the government. The (Friday) meeting didn’t hold at all. The government side was not prepared. The representatives were not available. They didn’t show any seriousness towards what they were doing. One of the things we do is hold dialogues. We don’t run away from the table anytime they call us. We are having another meeting with them on Monday.” he added.
On Friday, negotiations at the State House with administration officials broke down which led to the workers calling for a seven day national strike.
Akowe with reports from Abuja