Ahead of the September 28 planned nationwide mass protests and strikes, labour has advised Nigerians to stock foods and make cash withdrawals, as the action would be an indefinite and total shutdown of the economy.
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, in his address to the sixth quadrennial National Delegates’ Conference of the National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Employees (NUCFLRANMPE), in Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday, said the congress was already mobilising Nigerians and patriotic civil society groups for the peaceful protests.
“On September 28, we will be withdrawing our services, if government fails to reverse the recent price increases on petrol and electricity. I urge NUCFRLANMPE members to mobilise Nigerians within their vicinities. We also encourage you to stock up on essential items because this time around the strike will be a total lockdown. This time, the Nigeria Labour Congress would lead workers all over the country on an indefinite strike. This time, the strike will be total.”
He said increase in electricity tariff had presented Nigerians the double jeopardy of dealing with astronomical increases in the price of goods and services and COVID-19.
According to him, the alternative cannot be to transfer the obvious irresponsibility and failures of government on innocent Nigerian workers and citizens.
“The solution cannot be the arbitrary gale of hike in electricity tariff and increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, kerosene, diesel and other refined petroleum products leading to spiral inflation in the cost of living and robbing workers the benefit of the recent increase in national minimum wage.
“Organised labour says No Way; Enough is Enough! For over 30 years now, we have given government the chance and benefit of the doubt to fix our refineries, but successive governments have failed to repay our faith with necessary actions. The truth is that there is no acceptable logic why our refineries should not be working. There is no acceptable explanation why we cannot produce enough megawatts of electricity to power the potential of our people and industries, including chemical, leather, rubber, footwear and non-metallic industries.”
The NLC president also said there was no reason why Nigeria would invest billions of dollars in the power sector and in turn-around maintenance of public refineries, yet all the refineries were in comatose, and no contractor had been quizzed or prosecuted for the colossal scale of economic sabotage.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) said it had directed its zonal officers domestic units to commence mobilisation and sensitisation of members in different banks across the country for the withdrawal of their services from September 28.
This is even as it advised customers to make withdrawals that would be sufficient while the strike and protests last.