The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the umbrella bodies of Nigerian workers have fixed Monday January 9 for the commencement of a nationwide strike to protest the removal of the subsidy on petrol.”The Labour unions reached the decision to embark on a nationwide industrial action after a meeting on Wednesday.
The only condition given that would avert the strike was the reversal of the pump price of petrol.
In a statement issued by the President of the NLC, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, the Union disclosed that it would not send any representative to the reinvestment committee set up by the Federal Government. The NLC also dissociated itself from Dr. Reuben Abati’s claim that Labour was in support of the fuel subsidy removal. The NLC President stated that “no one would have believed that the revered office of the President could stoop so low to tell a lie, in a bid to defend the Presidency on the misleading and callous imposition of astronomical increase in fuel prices on Nigerians, the Special Adviser on Media to President Jonathan, Dr. Reuben Abati told the media that Labour was in support of the subsidy removal.
His claim that Labour was consulted and had given support to whatever government does on the issue of removal of subsidy is a blatant lie. In the first place, the leadership of the Labour Movement has held only one meeting with the Federal Government on the issue of subsidy removal. This was on Tuesday, 20th December, 2011 and that meeting was not conclusive, as it was agreed that a follow-up meeting will be called by the Presidency. ”
Meanwhile, the President has constituted a committee headed by Retired Justice Alfa Belgore to dialogue with the NLC. Another committee which would ensure judicious use of the proceeds from the subsidy is to be headed by Dr. Christopher Kolade.
Hundreds of people trooped out on Tuesday in Lagos, Ibadan and Ilorin to protest the removal of the subsidy which has caused an increase in the price of petrol. A protester was shot dead by the police in Ilorin, Kwara State.