The Nigeria Labour Congess (NLC) has declared a nationwide strike which will begin next Wednesday,June 7,2023.
This comes amid fuel shortages across the country occasioned by President Bola Tinubu’s inaugural speech in which he declared that “fuel subsidy is gone”.
NLC President Joe Ajaero made the announcement after an emergency meeting of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja.
He said the government, particularly the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited had up until Wednesday next week to revert to the old price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise referred to as petrol.
Ajaero added that failure of the Federal Government to meet the ultimatum would attract an indefinite protest across the country.
Tinubu And The Subsidy Debate
On Monday during his inaugural speech at the Eagle Square in Abuja, Tinubu said the era of subsidy payment on fuel has ended, adding that with the 2023 budget making no provision for fuel subsidy, further payment was no longer justifiable.
“The fuel subsidy is gone,” Tinubu said. His government would instead channel funds into infrastructure and other areas to strengthen the economy, he added.
The presidential pronouncement led to an almost instant resurgence of fuel queues across the country with Nigerians foraging for the premium product.
Though Tinubu’s decision received backing from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and House of Representatives, it has since been resisted by the NLC and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC).
Accoring to the organised labour, the President cannot unilaterally take a decision on subsidy removal.
TUC President, Festus Osifo, also argued that there was a reason the immediate past administration of Muhammadu Buhari pushed the “sensitive issue” to the new government.