Emma Johnson
Thu, Aug 3, 2023 12:30 AM

Nigeria's Labour Unions Protest Against Anti-Poor Policies and Petrol Subsidy Removal

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Nigeria's Labour Unions Protest Against Anti-Poor Policies and Petrol Subsidy Removal
Nigeria's labour unions, led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), have initiated widespread protest actions in Abuja, Lagos, and other parts of the country. The protests aim to denounce the alleged anti-people policies of President Bola Tinubu, specifically the removal of petrol subsidy, which has caused a surge in prices of essential commodities and transportation. As negotiations failed to yield any progress, the labour unions are demanding the reversal of these policies, an upward review of the minimum wage to reflect the rising cost of living, and more equitable measures for the welfare of the working class.

Nigeria's labour unions, with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the forefront, have staged protests in major cities across the country to express their discontent with the alleged anti-people policies implemented by President Bola Tinubu's government. The removal of petrol subsidy, which has resulted in significant price hikes in food items and transportation, stands as a central point of contention for the labour unions.

Protesters in Abuja commenced their demonstration from the Unity Fountain and forcefully broke down the first gate of the National Assembly complex, gaining access to the premises. Despite the Senators entering a closed-door session, Senate President Godswill Akpabio is slated to address the protesters.

The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, had previously demanded the immediate reversal of what he termed "anti-poor policies" by the federal government. This includes the recent spike in petrol prices, public school fees, and several other requests for policy changes that impact the welfare of the working class.

Though government representatives, led by Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila, engaged in negotiations with the labour unions, an agreement has proven elusive. However, the unions remain determined to proceed with the protest until their demands are met.

"We are here to make a statement that since we started negotiations, we have not received any concrete assurances," said Ajero during a media interview in Abuja.

Alongside the demands for policy reversals, the unions have also called for an upward review of the minimum wage. They propose an increase from the current N30,000 to N200,000, highlighting the need to address the soaring cost of living experienced by Nigerians.

President Bola Tinubu had assured the public of an impending announcement regarding a new minimum wage. Despite acknowledging the present hardships faced by Nigerians, he stands firm in his belief that the removal of fuel subsidy and other measures are necessary for the country's economic stability.

"This period may be hard on us, and there is no doubt about it that it is tough on us," Tinubu stated. "But I urge you all to look beyond the present temporary pains and aim at the larger picture. All of our good and helpful plans are in the works. More importantly, I know that they will work."

Tinubu expressed confidence that Nigeria will overcome the current challenges and ultimately benefit from the measures his government has adopted, leading to a promising future for the nation.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-02 News

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