The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Nigerian government to end the current naira and fuel scarcity in the country.
The union’s position is contained in a communiqué issued and jointly signed by its president, Joe Ajaero, and its General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, on Tuesday.
The communiqué was issued at the end of the congress’ Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting held on Monday.
The union said the poor implementation of the Naira re-design policy has caused considerable pain and hardship for the people.
It also said in the period under review, three major issues have engaged the attention of the nation.
“They are presidential/national assembly elections; scarcity of Petroleum motor spirit (PMS) and redesigning of the Naira notes and its aftermath,” it said.
“Accordingly, CWC resolved to give the government seven working days beginning from Tuesday, March 14 to make Naira notes available to the people or Congress would be compelled to direct its members to withdraw their services.
“Similarly, the CWC-in-session, after reviewing the fuel supply situation in the country and the attendant arbitrary costs at filling stations, expressed dismay at the nonchalance of the NNPC and Government. It accordingly resolved to ask the NNPC/ FGN to normalise the fuel supply situation.”
The union also expressed outrage at the “surreptitious increase in electricity tariff without notice and without improvement in the quality of service.”
“CWC resolved that henceforth any surreptitious increase would be met with an appropriate response,” it added.
On state disputes, the labour union resolved to condemn interference in congress council elections, noting that governors have no business controlling the state councils of congress. It also resolved to set up caretaker committees in Osun, Ebonyi and Imo.
“CWC after reviewing the organisation and performance of the Labour Party resolved to contribute to rebuilding and repositioning the party by sensitising workers and other Nigerians.
“There were national protest actions in Abia and Imo states over non-payment of salaries/ allowances and pensions for several months, non-remittance of check-off dues and other anti-union activities.
“Reviewing the performance of the actions, it was noted that the Abia State Government has signed an agreement with Congress pending full implementation of the agreement,” it added.
In Imo, however, the CWC said the protest action is ongoing as more unions are poised to join the agitation.
“Refusal to implement previous agreements reached between the state government and trade unions since 2021, 20 months salary arrears owed to some workers stigmatised as ghost workers, declaration of 11,000 workers in the state as ghost workers and diversion of their salaries even when they were regularly at work,” the union said.
“Vandalisation of congress office and equipment by hoodlums recruited by the state government, implementation of discriminatory pay and institutionalisation of apartheid in monthly payments, refusal to pay 8 years arrears of gratuities owed retirees.
“Non appropriate implementation of the national minimum wage law, harassment, intimidation and brutalisation of trade union leaders in the state, intimidation of workers in the state, continuous disregard for collective bargaining and social dialogue and violent interference and disruption of the congress delegates conference in the governor’s bid to impose his favoured candidates.”