NLC Warns of Nationwide Strike Over Potential Fuel Price Hike, Urges Government Action on Economic Policies

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has issued a stern warning, indicating that it may initiate a nationwide strike without prior notice if fuel marketers decide to raise the pump price of petrol before completing ongoing negotiations. The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, also urged the government to address the devaluation of the naira.

This caution from the organized labor follows recent statements by oil marketers, who suggested that the cost of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) could surge to between N680 and N720 per liter if the dollar continues to trade between N910 and N950 at the parallel market.

The Nigerian Air Force aircraft crash: On another note, an aircraft belonging to the Nigerian Air Force reportedly crashed while en route from Kaduna to Minna. The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, confirmed the crash in a statement. He mentioned that the aircraft had taken off from Zungeru Primary School, heading to Kaduna, but crashed near Chukuba Village in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.

Efforts are underway to rescue both the crew and passengers on board the helicopter, and preliminary investigations are being conducted to determine the potential cause of the crash.

The NLC’s stance on potential fuel price increase: Returning to the NLC’s warning, Ajaero emphasized that Nigerian workers would not issue a strike notice unless the consequences of previous fuel price hikes are addressed. He urged the government to reconsider harmful economic policies that have led to inadequate wages for workers.

Ajaero commented, “I want to plead with the government that those bad economic policies that make our wages next to nothing should be checked. If you check those policies that lead to inflation and devaluation of the currency, we will be comfortable even where we are.”

He further expressed concern over inflation and poverty levels in the country, pointing out that addressing these issues should be a priority for the government.

The NLC president also raised the issue of alleged harassment of labor unions by the police. He criticized the police for involving themselves in labor matters, stressing that it is not within their jurisdiction.

Ajaero highlighted, “The Nigeria police, the Inspector General is now performing the duties of the Ministry of Labour. The duty of the Ministry of Labour includes addressing the issue of both inter and intra-union disputes. It is not within the purview of the Inspector-General of Police to go into that area.”

In addition, Ajaero demanded an apology from the Inspector General of Police for the reported arrest of the president of the National Union of Road Transport Workers.

It remains to be seen how these developments will unfold and whether the government will address the concerns raised by the NLC, particularly regarding potential fuel price hikes and economic policies affecting workers. As negotiations and discussions continue, the labor movement’s stance and actions will likely shape the outcome of these pressing issues.