No going back on planned strike, say labour unions
The strike is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.
The unions, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), spoke after a meeting with government representatives at the presidential villa on Monday.
The unions expressed doubt regarding the ability of President Bola Tinubu to effectively control inflation and petrol price due to the unification of the exchange rate.
Joe Ajaero, president of the NLC, said the plan for workers to engage in a peaceful protest starting from Wednesday remains unchanged.
He dismissed fears of the protest being hijacked by hoodlums, saying that such incidents have never occurred in the history of workers’ protests.
He, however, emphasised that it is the responsibility of the security agencies to ensure the safety of the demonstrators.
Regarding Tinubu’s plan to intervene in the exchange rate in an attempt to address inflation and the high cost of petrol, Ajaero expressed doubts about its effectiveness.
Given the reliance on imported energy and the absence of comparative advantages, he questioned how control could be exerted.
Ajaero also highlighted the challenges faced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in resisting tariff increases, as well as the significant increase in the price of corn in rural areas.
Participants in Monday’s meeting included Ajaero, representatives from the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and other delegates from the labour unions.
On the government side, attendees included Femi Gbajabiamila, the chief of staff to the president; Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer of Nigerian National Petroleum company Limited (NNPCL); among others.
The meeting of the labour unions and government representatives was then adjourned till 12 noon on Tuesday.