Labour issues 14-day ultimatum to FG over economic hardship

THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have issued the Federal Government a 14-day ultimatum to implement agreements reached with workers to ease economic hardships confronting them and other citizens.

This was contained in a statement by leaders of both organisations, Joe Ajaero and Festus Usifo, respectively, on Thursday, February 8, 2024.

The statement disclosed that the 14-day ultimatum would begin on Friday, February 9, and described the failure of the Nigerian government under President Bola Tinubu as a show of bad faith.

“These agreements which were reached with the Federal Government were focused on addressing the massive suffering and the general harsh socioeconomic consequences of the ill-conceived and ill-executed IMF/World Bank induced hike in the price of PMS and the devaluation of the naira. These dual policies have had, as we predicted, dire economic consequences for the masses and workers of Nigeria.

“Widespread hunger is now ravishing millions of Nigerians, with the workers’ purchasing power significantly eroded, while insecurity has assumed an increasing dimension. Nigerians are left wondering where their next meals will come from and what tomorrow might bring,” the statement read.

The agreements were reached on issues ranging between wage awards and palliative adjustments, among others, and the union leaders described the government’s failure to uphold its end of the bargain as regrettable.

    In December 2023, NLC threatened that Nigerians could be forced to revolt against the Federal Government over the hardship caused by the scarcity of naira notes.

    The cash scarcity adversely affected the Nigerian economy, as the high costs of point of sale (POS) charges threatened to push the already soaring inflation rate.

    The labour unions also embarked on strike action in November 2023 over economic hardships.

    The strike was short-lived as it was called off after a meeting with the Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong, and National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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