Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Nigeria: Unions declare strike over rising cost of living

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

Nigeria will experience a total shutdown of public services as the two largest labour unions declare an indefinite strike.

The strike will begin next Tuesday in protest over the government’s response to the rising cost of living.

The National Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) accused the government of failing to ease the financial burden for Nigerians which has been worsened by the recent removal of the subsidy on fuel.

“It’s going to be a total shutdown until government meets the demand of Nigerian workers, and in fact Nigerian masses,” the union leaders said in a joint statement.

They called on all workers to stop activities from October 3 and join street protests.

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Rising cost of living 

There is an astronomical increase in production and transportation cost in Nigeria in recent months. This is largely attributed to food and commodity prices which have increased the cost of fuel.

Nigeria’s currency, the naira, has also fallen significantly against the US dollar. It is exchanging at an average of 780 naira to $1, which has led to an increase in the cost of imports.

The government had appealed to the union leaders to suspend the strike and allow room for negotiations citing the impending damage the strike action could cause the economy.

President Bola Tinubu said ending the fuel subsidy was essential as it was too costly to keep the price of petrol artificially low.

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