Nigeria’s two largest labour unions have declared an indefinite strike to begin next Tuesday in protest over the way the government is responding 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 Tuesday 3 October and said they would organise street protests.
Food and commodity prices have risen in recent months owing to the increase in the cost of fuel, which has pushed up production and transport costs.
Nigeria’s currency, the naira, has also fallen significantly against the US dollar, 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.