What Tinubu must do to avert strike — NLC

THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged President Bola Tinubu to immediately reverse all his government’s “anti-poor policies” to avert a looming industrial action that will commence on Wednesday, August 2.

In a communique released after a meeting of the workers’ Central Working Committee (CWC), signed by it President, Joe Ajaero and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugbonga, on Tuesday July 26, the NLC said it is under pressure from Nigerians to lead a protest over the government’s policies. It added that the pressure had come to a breaking point.

The NLC called for the immediate inauguration of the Presidential Steering Committee as agreed in its earlier dialogues with the Federal Government.

The Congress is demanding the reversal.of PMS price, the recent increase in public school fees, the release of the eight months withheld salary of university lecturers and workers and reversal of the increase in VAT as prerequisites for aborting the strike.

It wants the government to begin building a coalition of all Nigerians where all will be leaders and all will be followers.

Meanwhile, the body has urged all civil society organisations and its.affiliates across states and other Nigerians to begin mobilisation for a mass protest , beginning from Wednesday, August 2.

It said given the continued indifference of the government to the plight of the workers and the poor, it had heeded calls by the citizens to lead a protest against the government over biting hardship in the country.

The ICIR reported earlier on Tuesday how the NLC gave the Federal Government seven days to.reverse some of its policies or face workers’ showdown.

According to the NLC, Tinubu’s inaugural “shocking gift” by increasing the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from N185 to N500; and the subsequent hike of the product to over N600 per liter showed the level of the government’s insensitivity to the plights of Nigerians.

“Other anti-poor policies have since been unleashed on Nigerians which have left workers and masses reeling and deeply impoverished. CWC-in-Session noted unfortunately that the federal government has shown enormous disdain and contempt for Nigerian people and workers having acted and continued to act without regards to the welfare and cries of the citizenry.

“That Government seems to have declared a war of attrition on Nigerian workers and masses without any care leaving them to the throes of hopelessness and helplessness. That the federal government has refused to put in place safeguards to protect Nigerians from the harsh economic situation that its policies have inflicted on the people rather it has decided to insult the sensibilities of Nigerian masses by offering us N8,OOO per family and offering themselves N70 billion.”

The workers noted that since the President said “subsidy is.gone forever” in his inauguration speech, the peace of many Nigerians have vanished with the announcement.

NLC opined that the Federal Government has continued.to treat Nigerians as slaves and a conquered people, without any concern on the consequences.

It has consequently directed all its affiliates and state councils to begin immediate mobilisation and closely work with associations, individuals and other entities including the ones already on the streets to ensure that government listens to the citizens.

Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's the ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022. Contact him via email @ mfatunmole@icirnigeria.org.

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