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NLC, TUC tells Nigerians to stock up food, as strike begins Wednesday

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• Begins Countdown To Wednesday’s Strike
• Reps Call Emergency Session, Summon Kachikwu

Rising from a joint meeting between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and their civil society allies in Abuja, on Saturday, Labour called on Nigerians to stock up on essential commodities, as it begins a strike action on Wednesday in protest of recent hike in the pump price of petrol.

“Nigerians are advised to stock sufficient food items that will last for a while, for the prosecution of the current struggle against neo-liberal agenda in the country,” said NLC President, Ayuba Wabba.

Labour declared that if by the end of office hours on Tuesday, government had not invited it for negotiations, it would shut down the country.

It accused the government of prioritising the interests of petrol marketers above that of other Nigerians. It particularly flayed President Muhammadu Buhari for reneging on campaign promises that he would not remove fuel subsidy.

It added that the price hike from N86.50 to N145, which represents 67.63 per cent increase, is the height of insensitivity and impunity, as there had been no previous consultation with stakeholders, especially the organised labour.

There are also indications that the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) may also join in the action.

The two unions, last week, had voiced support for the price hike.

Wabba said modalities have been finalised to begin talks with NUPENG and PENGASSAN.

In attendance at yesterday’s meeting, the President of PENGASSAN, Olabode Johnson, blamed the incoming strike on non-passage on the Petroleum Industry Bill.

Confirming that PENGASSAN will also press the battle, he, however, expressed doubt if NUPENG, headed by Igwe Achese, will be willing to work with the NLC, considering the fact that Achese belongs to the camp of Joe Ajaero, who had declared himself a factional leader of the NLC after last year’s delegates’ conference.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said the price hike is influenced by the need to reposition the economy and foster national prosperity.

Ngige, who disclosed this while paying a working visit to the South East regional office of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NISTF), Enugu, said: “The Federal Government is not unaware of the hard times Nigerians are passing through at the moment as a result of the re-structuring of the economy. The President is genuinely concerned and personally feels the pains too. But this is a necessary phase we must all endure for the restoration of better days.”

Meanwhile, a special session of the House of Representatives will hold in Abuja tomorrow. It will discuss the controversial deregulation of the price of petrol, even as some members are said to be angry at the manner it was introduced.

They will have a special guest at the session. He is the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu. He is expected to explain the rationale behind the government’s move and policy in the face of the hardship Nigerians are facing.

It is not exactly clear if the Senate will toe the line of the Lower House, but there is no indication members will rush through a meeting over the fuel price increase.

In the face of the growing anger across the country, the Presidency continues to come up with explanations on why President Mohammadu Buhari consented to the increase. The President had been opposed to any fuel price increase, but last week, while he was away at an anti-corruption conference in London, the government announced a hike.

Stock up on food, labour warns Nigerians

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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  1. Toothless bulldog

  2. Egunje masters….

  3. NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS IS CORRUPT AND ANTI-PROGRESS OF THE MASSES. Of great note is the fact that this government have led a decisive fight against all forces militating against the general progress of the people of Nigeria home and abroad. We have never had this magnitude of commitment of a leader to REDEFINING the people’s share in the common wealth of our nation. NLC have always look on and sometimes partake in the bastardisation and stealing of our collective wealth. Labour have always been in the safe side and an onlooker not minding how it’s members are defrauded by previous leaders, the cabal and their Co- looters. Nor have we ever heard labour condemning the corruptions of politicians. On PMS, PMB government have taken a bold decision that has for the first time been generally accepted by the majority of Nigerians. This is the result of trust the people has in this government and her policies. It’s time to put to test the trust the people freely gave to PMB. On this note we call on all Nigerian to come out enmass to support PMB and his policies which are designed for a better future for us all and the generation yet unborn. LABOUR LEADERS ARE VERY CORRUPT AND THEY HAVE SUBMITTED TO THE CABAL WHILE THEY ARE WILLING TO DO THIER BIDDINGS. Nigerians must resist labour. Resist the Cabal. Support PMB and defend the votes you freely gave him once more Long live Nigeria!!! ON PMB WE STILL STAND!!!!!

  4. Rubbish. Wednesday strike so that by weekend – Sunday mid night they will call it off and life continues. We are tired of this drama called strike. Is a known script, playing out same way all the time.

  5. What about broke pple?

  6. They are stupid the most tell us what they are doing with our monthly contributions money nonses.Becouse oil cabal give them money,this time around is not going to work nonses.

  7. I did not benefit from my contributions to labour,union is optional am going to stop my contribution from June or else I will take them to court.

  8. The’re better things to fight for not oil price hike pls.

  9. To stoke of food with which money? Workes r not been paid btw 4 to 10 month u r saying they should stoke of food, is it with the money from ur dream?

  10. If labour r willing to give each Nigeria workes at least #10,000 from monday then we can stock up food. Stocking of food is not with empty pocket so pls make den go sit don

  11. U guys are deceivers. Pls let d sleeping dog lies. Going on strict is just adding more salt to an injury

  12. Shakara oloje ni. Do we realy have any labour organisation. They are to me dramatist of the higher order.

  13. These trade Unions are government arm to destabilize the peace and we’ll being of the impoverished Nigerians by politicians. Initiate a violent revolution taking advantage of your population to topple the government, then we all will know you are serious. Followership would not be a problem by all of us.

  14. I do not expect much from them, they are bias already.

  15. You asked people that have not recieved salary for the past 4 or 5 months to store food at home because of strike,you can give them money to buy food since there is no salary,you are not serious.