Nationwide Strike: Full Statement Of NLC Communique

Communiqué at the End of the Central Working Committee (CWC) Meeting of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Held on Tuesday, the 25th Day of July 2023

The Central Working Committee (CWC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) convened on Tuesday, the 25th of July 2023, to address the pressing economic challenges facing Nigerians. The CWC-in-Session engaged in exhaustive deliberations on the dire consequences of the insensitive policies and actions of the present Administration, which have resulted in widespread suffering, poverty, and anguish among Nigerian workers and citizens.

During the meeting, the CWC-in-Session recalled that on the 29th of May 2023, the President of the Federal Republic announced a shocking increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from N185 to N500. This move was met with strong condemnation from various organs of Congress, as it imposed massive suffering on the lives of Nigerians.

To exacerbate matters, the federal government, through the NNPCL, further hiked the price of PMS to an alarming N617 per litre without addressing the dire consequences of the previous increase. Other anti-poor policies have also been unleashed on Nigerians, leaving both workers and the general populace reeling and deeply impoverished.

The CWC-in-Session expressed deep concern over the federal government’s disdain and contempt for Nigerian people and workers, as it has continued to act without regard for their welfare and cries for help. It appears that the government has declared a war of attrition on Nigerian workers and citizens, pushing them to the throes of hopelessness and helplessness.

Furthermore, the federal government’s failure to implement safeguards to protect Nigerians from the harsh economic situation resulting from its policies has further exacerbated the situation. Instead, the government has insulted the sensibilities of Nigerian masses by offering a mere N8000 per family while allocating a staggering N70 billion to itself.

The CWC-in-Session observed with dismay that the federal government frustrated and abandoned its own Committee, which was established through social dialogue between the government and workers’ organizations. The government’s unilateral actions and programs have disregarded the Committee’s existence and its intended purpose.

Since the President’s statement declaring the end of fuel subsidy, the peace of mind of Nigerians has eroded, replaced with increasing despair of unimaginable dimensions. The federal government’s continued treatment of Nigerians as slaves and a conquered people without any regard for the consequences is alarming.

Moreover, the government’s unholy mission of robbing the poor to pay the rich in Nigeria has been evident in its obstruction of the activation of agreed alternatives to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and its new hike in PMS prices to N617 per litre.

The CWC-in-Session expressed concern over the federal government’s promotion of a ruling elite gang-up against Nigerian people and workers, which further exacerbates the challenges faced by the nation.

During the meeting, it was also noted that the federal government has been consistently rolling out policies designed to emasculate Nigerian workers and people. These policies include not only the increase in PMS prices and its spiraling effects but also hikes in Value Added Tax (VAT) and school fees in publicly-owned secondary and tertiary institutions.

The NNPCL’s actions in fixing petroleum product prices while mouthing deregulation have raised questions about the government’s commitment to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with NLC and TUC.

Given the outrage of Nigerians and mounting pressure on the NLC to lead protests against the PMS price hikes, the CWC-in-Session firmly resolved not to be complicit in the suffering of Nigerian workers and masses.

In light of the current situation, the CWC-in-Session made the following resolutions:

Immediate reversal of all anti-poor policies of the federal government, including the recent hike in PMS price, increases in public school fees, release of 8 months withheld salary of university lecturers and workers, and the increase in VAT.

Immediate inauguration of the Presidential Steering Committee, as agreed upon in earlier dialogues.

Initiating the formation of a nationwide coalition of all Nigerians, where all individuals will be leaders and followers, working together to protect democracy and the nation’s interests.

Calling on all civil society organizations and Nigerians to begin mobilization efforts to take action and save the nation.

Leading and organizing mass protest rallies across the nation to demonstrate outrage against the inhuman actions and policies of the government.

Giving the federal government a seven-day ultimatum to meet all their demands and commencing nationwide action beginning Wednesday, the 2nd of August, 2023, to compel the government to reverse its anti-poor and anti-worker policies.

Directing all Affiliates and State Councils to commence immediate mobilization efforts and collaborate with associations, individuals, and other entities already on the streets to ensure that the government listens to the people.

the Nigeria Labour Congress reiterates its commitment to standing up for the rights and welfare of Nigerian workers and citizens. The Congress is resolute in its determination to advocate for a just and fair society, and will not waver in its efforts to protect the interests of the Nigerian people.