Banks, others shut down as workers begin strike

THE National Union Of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees, NUBIFIE, and other affiliates of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) are set for the two-day warning strike declared by the workers’ body.

The workers are downing tools to protest the escalating hardship arising from the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, by the Federal Government.

The strike holds between Tuesday, September 5 and Wednesday, September 6, 2023.

The ICIR reports that it will paralyse socio-economic activities across the country, leading to a further loss for a nation struggling with its economy.

NLC President Joe Ajaero ordered the union members to commence the strike on Friday, August 31.

He said unless the government takes significant measures to alleviate the effects of the subsidy removal on Nigerians, the union would commence an indefinite strike in either 14 working days or 21 days.

The Union had previously embarked on a nationwide protest on the same issue in August 2023, with its membership comprising workers from both the public and private sectors.

NUBIFIE, in a statement released on Monday, September 4, announced its solidarity and declared that all banks would be closed on Tuesday, September 5, and Wednesday, September 6.

According to the statement, the notice aligns with the NLC’s resolution on its planned two-day strike.

Part of the statement read: “In line with the communique issued after the meeting of National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) held on Thursday 31 August 2023, that all affiliates should direct their members to commence two days withdrawal of services from Tuesday and Wednesday the 5 and 6 September 2023, the directive is imperative to get the needed attention of the government and warn it of its new found love of meddling in the internal affairs of unions rather than addressing the punishing economic circumstances we find ourselves in.”

The group directed its organs to comply with the directive by ensuring all members stayed off duty for the two days.

The ICIR had earlier reported that numerous NLC affiliate organisations had instructed their members to adhere to the directive issued by the national body.

One of these groups, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), ordered its workers to mobilise its members effectively to ensure their participation in the strike.

In a circular shared by Deputy Secretary General Erazua Oniha, acting on behalf of the union’s Secretary General Felix Akingboye, the union stated, “We have received a communique from the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, regarding the aforementioned matter, instructing all NLC affiliates to initiate a two-day nationwide warning strike as a demonstration of our preparedness for the indefinite strike later in the month…”

“Consequent to the foregoing, all National Administrative Council, NAC, Central Working Committee, CWC, NEC and members in all ports, jetties, terminals and oil and gas platforms nationwide are by this notice directed to commence an immediate and total mobilisation of our members to effectively ensure their participation in the nationwide warning strike from Tuesday 5 to Wednesday 6 September 2023.”

Others, according to a report, are the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), the Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN).

The ICIR reports that sources within the judiciary said the strike would not affect the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPT), which delivers judgment in the case of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) against the winner of the February 25, 2023 presidential election, and incumbent President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, September 6.

However, the government appealed to the NLC to shelve the strike on Monday, September 4.

The ICIR contacted Ajaero on the telephone Monday evening to confirm if the strike would go on as planned. He did not pick up the call put across to his telephone line. He did not also reply to text and WhatsApp messages sent to his line.

Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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