John Doe
Tue, Sep 5, 2023 6:40 PM

Workers in Nigeria Go on Strike to Protest Against Rising Cost of Living

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Workers in Nigeria Go on Strike to Protest Against Rising Cost of Living
Workers across all sectors in Nigeria have embarked on a two-day warning strike to protest against the rising cost of living caused by the removal of government subsidies on gas. The strike, organized by the Nigerian Labour Congress, is aimed at pressuring the government to improve the welfare of its citizens. Concerns over the negative impact on Nigeria's already struggling economy are mounting as the strike threatens to paralyze key sectors including healthcare and electricity.

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) – Workers across all sectors in Nigeria abandoned their jobs on Tuesday to protest against the rising cost of living caused by the withdrawal of government subsidies on gas, which threatens to "paralyze" Africa's largest economy if their demands for improved welfare are not met.

The Nigerian Labour Congress has initiated a two-day warning strike, the second in over a month. The collective met last week and denounced President Bola Tinubu's decision to remove gas subsidies as having "unleashed massive suffering among workers and the Nigerian masses".

Last-minute efforts to avert the strike failed on Monday night after union leaders failed to attend a meeting called by the Ministry of Labour. The strike, which affects all sectors including healthcare and electricity, is expected to disrupt activity in many offices, further damaging the continent's top economy already hampered by dwindling public revenues and oil theft.

The union's president, Joe Ajaero, stated that in two weeks there will be a "total and indefinite shutdown of the nation" unless the government fulfills the workers' demands, which include wage increases.

President Tinubu's attempt to revitalize the economy has led him to introduce some bold measures which he claims will save more money, strengthen the local currency, the naira, and attract investors. However, these initiatives have caused hardships for millions at home, with critics accusing the president of not acting swiftly enough to cushion the effects of his policies.

After removing fuel subsidies that had been in place for years on his first day in office, the price of gasoline more than doubled, causing a similar spike in other essential commodities. Government-led currency devaluation further escalated prices, including those of food.

Tinubu's government has taken several steps to alleviate the issues, including a $5.5 million package in loans and support to states. But workers argue the measures are insufficient and their wages remain unchanged.

Many employees can no longer afford transportation to work, said Ajaero, speaking of the "unbearable massive suffering and impoverishment experienced across the country".

The government, on its part, stated that a strike would worsen Nigerians' conditions and requested more time to find ways to resolve the dispute. "We cannot do this in an atmosphere devoid of industrial peace," affirmed Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-05 News

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