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Subsidy removal: NLC to begin nationwide strike Wednesday

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THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is to commence a nationwide strike on Wednesday, June 7, if the Federal Government fails to reverse the reverse the hike in the fuel pump price. 

NLC President Joe Ajaero announced this in Abuja on Friday, June 2, after an emergency meeting of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC).

The NLC NEC at the meeting issued the Federal Government and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) an ultimatum to reverse the new pump price by Wednesday, June 7, failing which the union will embark on the nationwide strike.

Ajaero said the decision was taken to force a reversal of the removal of fuel subsidy by the government.

According to him, the decision to embark on strike was prompted by the pains Nigerians are going through following the increase in the cost of petrol, otherwise known as premium motor spirit (PMS), after the Federal Government removed subsidy for the product.

“The NLC NEC directs all state councils and industrial unions to commence mobilisation from this moment,” Ajaero added while addressing journalists after the meeting.

In his inauguration speech on May 29, President Bola Tinubu declared that the subsidy regime, which made the government pay a substantial part of the cost of a petrol litre, was gone

Minutes after the declaration, most fuel stations in the country shut down, making motorists queue for several hours.

In many states, including Abuja, the fuel pump price rose by more than 200 per cent. For instance, petrol was sold in the nation’s capital for N195 per litre before the government removed the subsidy. It has since sold for N537 in the city after the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) announced new pump prices for states. The prices differ by a few margins across the nation.

Transport fares have since attracted similar hikes across the country, as many citizens lament the policy and describe it as too harsh for a nation where poverty is rife.

The cost of food and other necessities have also jumped because of the policy.

Many workers trek long distances to get to work or return home, which could be dangerous to health and reduce productivity.

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