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Nigerian Workers Give FG Ultimatum to Ease Economic Hardship

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigerian workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have given the federal government a two-week ultimatum to commence the implementation of policies that will reduce the negative impact of the government’s economic policies on citizens.

Nigerians have continued to lament economic hardship in the country as a result of the removal of the petrol subsidy and the devaluation of the Naira, both of which have led to an astronomical increase in the prices of goods and services.

In a joint statement, the NLC and the TUC said they were concerned about the “non-implementation of the 16-point agreement reached with the Federal Government on October 2, 2023.”

“These agreements which were reached with the federal government were focused on addressing the massive suffering and the general harsh socioeconomic consequences of the ill-conceived and ill-executed IMF/World Bank induced hike in the price of PMS and the Devaluation of the Naira,” the organised labour said.

“Constrained by this development and recognizing the urgency of the situation and the imperative of ensuring the protection and defence of the rights and dignity of Nigerian workers and citizens, the NLC and TUC hereby issue a stern ultimatum to the Federal Government, to honour their part of the understanding within 14 Days from tomorrow, the 9th day of February, 2024,” the Nigerian workers added.

Read the full statement below.

NON-IMPLEMENTATION OF AGREEMENT BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: DEEPENS MASS SUFFERING AND A SHOW OF BAD FAITH.

The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria express profound concern over the non-implementation of the 16-point agreement reached with the Federal Government on October 2, 2023. Despite the passage of time, the majority of these crucial agreements remain unmet or negligibly addressed, indicating a blatant disregard for the principles of good faith, welfare and rights of Nigerian workers and Nigerians.

These agreements which were reached with the federal government were focused on addressing the massive suffering and the general harsh socioeconomic consequences of the ill-conceived and ill-executed IMF/World Bank-induced hike in the price of PMS and the Devaluation of the Naira. These dual policies have had as we predicted dire economic consequences for the masses and workers of Nigeria.

Widespread Hunger is now ravishing millions of Nigerians, with the workers’ purchasing power significantly eroded, while insecurity has assumed an increasing dimension. Nigerians are left wondering where their next meals will come from and what tomorrow might bring. The level of panic and anxiety amongst the populace has become nightmarish unfortunately, in the midst of all these, it appears our government is bereft of appropriate measures to ameliorate the huge burden it has foisted on the citizenry.

We wish to state that these agreements, which encompass a wide range of issues crucial to the well-being of Nigerian masses and workers, have not been honoured as pledged by the Federal Government. From wage awards and palliative adjustments to improved access to public utilities; to the meddlesomeness in the internal affairs of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the interference by the Lagos State Government in union activities, the case of illegal and unlawful proscription of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria RTEAN. The government’s failure to uphold its end of the bargain is deeply regrettable and unacceptable to the Working people and the citizenry.

Constrained by this development and recognizing the urgency of the situation and the imperative of ensuring the protection and defence of the rights and dignity of Nigerian workers and citizens, the NLC and TUC hereby issue a stern ultimatum to the Federal Government, to honour their part of the understanding within 14 Days from tomorrow, the 9th day of February, 2024.

It is regrettable that we are compelled to resort to such measures, but the persistent neglect of the welfare of citizens and Nigerian workers and the massive hardship leaves us with no choice. Therefore, everything must be done within two weeks to avoid a situation where we may be compelled to take appropriate steps to protect Nigerian workers and the masses.

We call upon the Federal Government to honour its commitments without delay. The time for empty promises and excuses has passed. The time for action is now. Our patience has worn thin and the situation has become unbearable for workers and masses all over the federation. Further silence amounts to committing mass suicide and this remains the only feasible course of action left for us and Nigerians to -compel remedial action by the government.

We are committed to this resolve towards salvaging Nigerian workers and masses from the apparent insensitivity and lethargy of those in the corridors of power who are supposed to be the bastion of public trust.

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