Nigerian labour unions in joint communique declare an indefinite shutdown of the country beginning at zero hours October 3
Naira slumps to N1000 per dollar after central bank governor says local lenders are owed $7 billion
Nigerian labour unions, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have declared an indefinite nationwide strike to begin on October 3.
The joint communique was issued Tuesday following virtual meetings of the the national executive councils. The unions said they recognised the fact that the Federal Government (FG) has failed to enact welfare programs and pay increase to ameliorate the continued hardship and deprivation of workers, after the removal of fuel subsidy.
They also noted that the Tinubu administration has failed to negotiate in good faith with them instead was using the police to harass and intimidate union executives, informed their decision to declare an indefinite national strike.
“To embark on an indefinite and total shutdown of the nation beginning on zero hours Tuesday, the 3rd day of October, 2023.” The communique read.
It directed all workers in Nigeria to withdraw their services from their respective workplaces commencing the 3rd of October.
Daily street protests and rallies organised by affiliates and state councils will begin until the Tinubu administration listened to their demands.
Members of the Nigerian Labour Union, holding flags and placards, march during a protest against fuel price hikes and rising costs, in Abuja, Nigeria August 2, 2023. REUTERS/Abraham Achirga/File Photo
Nigerians were called upon to support the unions as they force the government to make more people centred policies.
The communique was signed by Comrade Joe Ajaero of the NLC and Comrade Festus Osifo of the TUC.
Prices have risen sharply, including the cost of food, transport and power as most businesses and households rely on petrol generators for electricity.
The Naira slumped to its lowest level as the dollar sold at N1000 on Tuesday morning, on the black market where most Nigerians source their foreign exchange.
New central bank Governor Olayemi Cardoso on Tuesday, said his top priority was to clear the bank’s backlog of unsettled foreign exchange obligations to local lenders, which he estimated could be as high as $7 billion.
The Senate unanimously approved Cardoso’s nomination as central bank governor after he appeared before lawmakers to answer questions. Four new deputy governors were also confirmed.
The official exchange rate was quoted at 785 to the dollar as of 1710 GMT.
Unmet forex demand on the official market due to inadequate liquidity and speculation in street trading added downward pressure to the currency, widening the gap with the official market where restrictions on trading were lifted in June.
Tinubu has defended his two biggest reforms – removal of the subsidy and foreign exchange controls – saying although this would lead to hardships in the short term, they were necessary to attract investment and boost government finances.
Akowe with reports from Abuja