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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has issued a call to action for its 43 affiliate unions, urging them to prepare for an impending nationwide strike set to commence on Wednesday, June 7, 2023. The strike is a direct response to the recent increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol. Prominent affiliates of the NLC, including the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, and National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, among others, are expected to participate.In a letter addressed to the affiliate unions and signed by the General Secretary of the NLC, Emmanuel Ugboaja, the Congress emphasized the urgency of the situation. The letter stated, “We extend warm greetings from the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress. As a result of the resolutions reached at the National Executive Council meeting held on June 2, 2023, it was decided that Congress would initiate a nationwide action and service withdrawal in response to the unjustifiable increase in fuel prices across all thirty-six states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory.”The letter further outlined the specifics of the planned action, stating, “Please be advised that the nationwide action will commence on Wednesday, June 7, 2023. Consequently, all national leaders are expected to mobilize their respective members and ensure full compliance with the directives, as both public and private sector services are anticipated to be entirely suspended. Presidents and General Secretaries are urged to facilitate the implementation of the decisions made by the National Executive Council.”Earlier reports from The PUNCH indicated that on Monday, during his inaugural speech at the Eagle Square in Abuja, President Bola Tinubu proclaimed the end of the era of fuel subsidy payments. Tinubu also revealed that the 2023 budget did not allocate funds for fuel subsidies, justifying the decision to halt further payments. Instead, the government plans to redirect these resources toward infrastructure development and other measures aimed at strengthening the economy.In response to the presidential pronouncement, fuel queues quickly reappeared across the nation, and citizens expressed their discontent with the sharp increase in petrol prices at various filling stations. While the decision to remove fuel subsidies received support from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and the House of Representatives, it faced strong opposition from the NLC and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.Organized labor has consistently maintained that the President lacks the unilateral authority to eliminate subsidies without broader consultation and negotiation processes.


Ademola Adeyemi

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