VICTOR AYENI, ABIODUN NEJO, CHIMA AZUBUIKE, ANIMASAHUN SALMAN, JAMES ABRAHAM, JOHN CHARLES, TUKUR MUNTARI, MATTHEW OCHEI, UTHMAN ABUBAKAR, DENNIS NAKU, ADEYINKA ADEDIPE, MAIHARAJI ALTINE, CHIKA OTUCHIKERE, DANIELS IGONI, PATRICK ODEY, HINDI LIVINUS, ADEMOLA ADEGBITE, GODWIN ISENYO, SUNDAY NWAKANMA, JUSTIN TYOPUUSU, PETER DADA, OLAIDE OYELUDE.
State chapters and affiliate unions of the Nigeria Labour Congress are already gearing up for a possible declaration of a nationwide strike following the expiration of a 21-day ultimatum given the Federal Government to provide palliatives to cushion the pains associated with the recent fuel subsidy removal.
The organised labour had earlier embarked on a two-day warning strike to press home its demands.
After the warning strike, the NLC gave the government a 21-day ultimatum within which to meet its demands.
With the expiration of the ultimatum on Friday, the NLC has scheduled an emergency meeting of its National Executive Council for Tuesday at noon.
The council’s next line of action is expected to be decided at the virtual meeting.
In a notice of the meeting dated September 22, 2023, seen by Sunday PUNCH, the congress’ General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, told the Presidents, General Secretaries and Treasurers of its affiliates that “Your attendance (at the meeting) will be of utmost importance.”
Ahead of the meeting, however, state chapters of the NLC told Sunday PUNCH on Saturday that they were ready to mobilise full participation if the NEC declared a strike on Tuesday.
This is just as Sunday PUNCH learnt on Saturday evening that as part of its last-minute moves to prevent a strike, the Federal Government may meet with labour leaders again this week.
“Yes, the government delegation will meet with them maybe on Monday. The idea is to ensure that we prevent the strike. The nation cannot afford a shutdown of its economy at this time,” a government source said.
Another government source told Sunday PUNCH that the FG will continue to appeal for understanding from the labour leaders.
“The government has just increased the salaries of junior lecturers by 23.5 per cent. There is the need for an understanding,” the source said.
When contacted, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said, “I am not yet back, I am airborne now to London. No update yet.”
The Ekiti State Chairman of the NLC, Kolapo Olatunde, told one of our correspondents that workers in the state would participate fully if the NEC resolved to declare a strike.
Olatunde said “NLC NEC’s decision supersedes any other decision. If the decision up there in NEC is that we should go on strike, we have no option.
“We will also come down and decide the State Executive Council level, but the decision of the NEC supersedes any other decision.
“If the NEC says we are going on strike, everybody will go on strike, that is the implication.”
The situation is the same in Gombe State where the state Secretary of NLC, Ibrahim Fika, said the chapter would comply fully with the industrial action should the NEC order such.
Fika said, “We will comply 100 per cent by God’s grace. There is no doubt about that.
“It’s after the Tuesday meeting that we will know when to proceed, and whether the people will be given time to prepare but Gombe NLC is fully ready 100 per cent.”