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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says the administration of President Bola Tinubu has declared hardship war on Nigerians through the economic policies he introduced including the removal of fuel subsidy.

A communique signed by its president, Comrade Joe Ajaero and General Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, at the end of the union’s Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, stated this.

The Congress directed workers and civil society organisations across the country to immediately start mobilisation for mass protest and rallies ahead of the strike beginning Wednesday next week.

According to the communique, the union stressed that the policies put in place by Tinubu’s administration were insensitive to the plight of Nigerians and rather than give hope and succour, they have thrown the people into mass suffering and poverty.

It said, “The CWC-in-session subsequently resolved as follows: the immediate reversal of all anti-poor policies of the federal government including the recent hike in PMS price, Increase in Public School fees, the release of the 8 months withheld Salary of University lecturers and Workers and increase in VAT.

“The immediate inauguration of the Presidential Steering Committee as agreed in the earlier consequential dialogues, to begin the building across the nation of a Coalition of all Nigerians where all will be leaders and all will be followers.

“To call on all civil society organisations and Nigerians wherever they may be to begin mobilization to take action on their own to save our nation. To lead and organize mass protest rallies across the nation to demonstrate outrage against the inhuman actions and policies of the government.”

Ajaero and Ugboaja have given Tinubu a seven-day deadline to meet the demands tabled before his administration, which would be met with nationwide demonstrations if declined.

“To give the federal government a seven-day ultimatum within which to meet all our demands and to embark on a nationwide action beginning Wednesday the 2nd of August, 2023 to compel the government to reverse its anti-poor and anti-workers policies.

“To Consequently direct all Affiliates and State Councils to begin immediate mobilization and closely work with associations, individuals and other entities including the ones already on the streets to ensure that government listens to the people.”

It continued, “On the 29th day of May, 2023, the President of the federal republic gave Nigerians an inaugural shocking gift by increasing the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from N185 to N500; this action was considered was strongly condemned by various Organs of Congress because of the massive suffering it imposed on the lives of Nigerians.

“However, as if that was not enough, the federal government through the instrumentality of the NNPCL effected a further hike in the price of PMS to N617 per litre without having addressed the dire consequences which the earlier hike had imposed on Nigerians. Other anti-poor policies have since been unleashed on Nigerians which have left workers and masses reeling and deeply impoverished.

“CWC-in-Session noted unfortunately that the federal government has shown enormous disdain and contempt for Nigerian people and workers having acted and continued to act without regards to the welfare and cries of the citizenry.

“That government seems to have declared a war of attrition on Nigerian workers and masses without any care leaving them to the throes of hopelessness and helplessness.

“That the federal government has refused to put in place safeguards to protect Nigerians from the harsh Economic situation that its policies have inflicted on the people rather it has decided to insult the sensibilities of Nigerian masses by offering us N8,000 per family and offering themselves N70 billion.

“That the federal government has frustrated and abandoned its own committee which was a product of social dialogue between the government and workers organisations in the country. While the committee has not met, the government embarked on unilateral actions and programmes.”

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