On September 1, the NLC announced it would be going on a two-day warning strike due to the inflation of prices caused by the fuel subsidy removal and many more factors. The NLC stated that the protest was to get the attention of the Nigerian government and inform them of the sufferings they have had to embrace since the announcement of the fuel subsidy removal.
They threatened to shut down the country’s economy within 14 working days or 21 days if the government did not reconcile their losses by taking the necessary actions to make life in Nigeria less than brutal.
On Tuesday, September 5, the NLC embarked on its two-day warning strike after shunning the Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong, on his advice to forfeit the strike. After raising their notice for a strike, the Minister of Labour called the NLC for a meeting to discuss how best to resolve their requests, and although the Trade Union Congress (TUC) was in attendance, the NLC was not.
The NLC has ordered all affiliated public service corporations to go on strike, and information coming across states in the country has shown evidence that the two-day warning strike has begun. The National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institution Employees (NUBIFIE) has instructed its bank staff to stay away from work for two days, while universities and other private and public agencies have also chosen to participate in the strike.
Although not every state fully complied with the instructions laid out by the NLC, there have been sightings of some private and public agencies still active and against the strike.
In Jigawa State, the federal government secretariat, Federal University Dutse, the state secretariat, and the local government secretariat have all shut down in compliance, whereas in Delta State, banks such as Keystone and branches of Union Bank have been seen responding to their customers discreetly.
In Edo State, the NLC strike has crippled the daily activities of the Central Hospital, the state secretariat, and many others.
States like Oyo and Bauchi are adhering to the strike. However, Lagos State partially complied with the law as both private and public firms are still operating.
When asked why they were going on strike, the NLC secretary in Jigawa, Abubakar Yushe’u, said that the union was not against the government but would like to advise the government to curb the hardships placed on them.
“We are not against the fuel subsidy removal, but against the current hardship it has brought upon us,” he implored the government to find a durable solution to the nationwide suffering.
What could the effects of this NLC strike mean for Nigerians?
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) going on strike could tear the country apart as state workers are confused about what laws to follow. In Ondo State, workers are beaten out of their offices for coming to work, while finance workers are chased out of their offices in Abuja.
Total electricity blackouts are being threatened in the country as electricity workers in Abuja and Oshogbo have also chosen to join the NLC strike.
The country may be thrown into disarray by the NLC if it chooses to carry out the plans they have in store for the government, should the government refuse to grant an audience to its people’s protests and wants.
Ayomitide Adeyinka is a content writer, crypto journalist and editor with a Bsc in Political Science. He is also an egalitarian.