Nigerian unions warn of nationwide strike over fuel price increase

2016-05-18 15:31


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Abuja - A coalition of Nigerian labour unions has warned of an indefinite nationwide protest following the scrapping of the country's fuel subsidy and a subsequent rise in the price of petrol, local publication Punch has reported.

Under the aegis of the National Labour Congress (NLC), workers across the country vowed to follow through with the industrial action, despite an injunction having been filed with the country's industrial court.

Nigeria's Federal Government had on Tuesday dragged the NLC and its affiliates before the National Industrial Court (NIC), seeking a halt to the impending strike. Court judgments did little to deter the group, however, with Nigerians set to take to the streets throughout Wednesday.

The unrest followed on from an announcement by the Nigerian government on May 11 confirming the removal of the fuel subsidy, with a new petrol price of N145 per litre, up from the previous price of N86.50.

Although Petroleum Minister Ibe Kachikwu gave several reasons for the price hike, it made little difference to disgruntled citizens who were currently grappling with continued fuel scarcity and economic woes.

The government had since directed the invocation of statutory provision of "no work, no pay" on any worker who joined the strike, warning that intervention from security agencies would be called upon if lawlessness took hold, Premium Times reported.

"Where any worker takes part in a strike, he shall not be entitled to any wages or remuneration for the period of the strike and any such period shall not count for the purpose of reckoning the period of continuous employment and all rights dependent on continuity of employment shall be prejudicially affected accordingly,” a statement signed by Government Secretary Babachir Lawal said.

According to Time, a similar strike was said to have brought the country to a standstill in 2012, with government being forced to reinstate repealed fuel subsidies in a bid to quell civil unrest.

Read more on:    nlc  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  protests

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