Since 1981, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has fought for their rights through nationwide strikes. And this streak of strikes seems far from over, as Nigerians may witness another strike from the group.
What’s the NLC’s latest beef this time?
NLC is angry about the current cash scarcity caused by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) naira redesign policy and fuel scarcity across Nigeria.
NLC president, Joe Ajaero, sent an ultimatum to the CBN — either improve the supply of naira notes in the country and reduce fuel scarcity or expect NLC workers to go on indefinite strike. This is because the workers have been finding it difficult to source cash for transportation and everyday needs since the crisis began.
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But now the next question is, why should you care if the NLC goes on strike? We have a few reasons here:
All essential workers are under NLC
This includes transport workers, doctors, teachers, bankers, etc. If they go on strike, none of these essential workers would be there to cater to the average Nigerian’s needs.
Road transport workers [Pulse]
It will negatively impact Nigeria’s economy
During strikes, there’s what is called a strike cost. This is the cost incurred by the government from paying wages and salaries to labour workers. This is negative because money is being spent without gaining any revenue.
To show how bad strike costs are, the federal and state governments lost N1.3 trillion to strike costs during the 2020 ASUU strike.
It could lead to the loss of lives
Doctors and medical personnel in federal hospitals fall under the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), an affiliate of the NLC.
If the Labour Congress should go on strike, this could increase deaths for citizens who can’t afford private healthcare.
What happens next?
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has met with CBN governor Godwin Emefiele and Ajaero for negotiations.
The CBN promised to increase the distribution of the naira notes, while Ajaero promised that the NLC would continue to “engage the CBN through effective dialogue.”
But could the negotiations break down? Will CBN keep to their word? Let’s wait and see.