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Comrade Joe Ajaero, NLC President

Subsidy removal: NLC orders nationwide strike on Wednesday

By Joan Nwagwu

Abuja, June 2, 2023

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said it would begin a nationwide strike on Wednesday over the current increase in the pump price of fuel.

Mr. Joe Ajaero, NLC President, said this while addressing newsmen at the end of the emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Congress in Abuja on Friday.

Ajaero said that Labour would embark on strike if the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) fails to revert the current template on the increase in the price of fuel occasioned by the withdrawal of fuel subsidy.

“Consequently, NLC has decided that if by Wednesday, the NNPCL, a private Limited Liability Company, that illegally announced the price regime in the oil sector, refuses to reverse itself for negotiation to continue, the Nigeria Labour Congress and all its affiliates will withdraw their services and commence protest nationwide until this is complied with.

“The NNPCL does not have the monopoly to fix prices even as a private company.

“The NLC, therefore, directs all its state councils and industrial unions to commence mobilisation from this moment to make sure that the action is carried out,’’ he said.

Ajaero also said that the ongoing negotiation between the NLC and Federal Government might not produce any meaningful result until President Bola Tinubu constitutes his cabinet.

He said that it was important that the NLC entered into negotiation with properly constituted government that would see that any decision taken would be binding on it.

According to him, it is instructive that until a government is properly constituted and the people who will negotiate with labour are such people with mandate and capacity to commit the government of the day, such negotiations may not be valid.

The NLC president, however, said that there was need to revert to the old pump price of petrol as a necessity for labour to continue its engagement with the government.

He also called for a wholistic investigation into the fuel subsidy regime to determine the beneficiaries of what he described as the fraud in the system.

Ajaero added that this should have been tackled by the current government, rather than going ahead to withdraw subsidy entirely.

NNPCL had recently announced a new pump price for petrol ranging from N488 to N570 per liter depending on the region of the country.

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