The National Economic Council on Thursday urged organised labour to reconsider its decision to embark on a nationwide strike on October 3, 2023.
Addressing State House Correspondents after its 136th meeting, the Plateau State Governor, Caleb Muftwang said, “Council looked at the implications of the strike for the economy and the nation and thus urge members to continue to engage with the leadership of their respective states and to appeal to them to shelve the action and continue on the path of dialogue with the federal government.”
On September 26, Nigeria’s two major workers’ unions revealed plans to begin an indefinite strike on October 3 to protest against a cost of living crisis after the scrapping of petrol subsidy.
The National Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress said on Tuesday they would begin the strike on October 3.
“It’s going to be a total shutdown…until the government meets the demand of Nigerian workers, and in fact Nigerian masses,” the union leaders affirmed in a joint statement.
They said, “The Federal Government has refused to meaningfully engage and reach agreements with organised labour on critical issues of the consequences of the unfortunate hike in the price of petrol which has unleashed massive suffering on Nigeria workers and masses.”
Since May 29, labour unions have protested President Bola Tinubu’s decision to scrap the decades-old subsidy that kept fuel prices low but was draining government funds.
Despite several deadlocks, the government has urged unions to continue negotiations instead of embarking on strikes, which it said would hurt the economy currently grappling with double-digit inflation, FOREX shortages, and low oil production due to oil theft, amongst others.