Nigerian trade unions are set for an indefinite general strike from Monday against a hike in fuel and electricity prices by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
Talks between the government and leaders of the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, the country’s largest labour federations, failed to avert the strike.
Union leaders said they were pushing ahead with downing tools from 28 September as they weren’t convinced with the government’s reasons for the increases. Contrary to official arguments, the increases will inflict more punishment and hardships on already poor people, according to a statement on the website of the NLC.
“All the daily mobile transportation done by 83 million poor Nigerians” is fuelled by petrol, NLC said in the statement. “A price hike therefore affects the price of transport and all commodities transported by road.”
At a time people were just emerging from a prolonged Covid-19 lockdown without getting any relief, the price rises will only add to their suffering, the unions said.
Unions in the critical oil and gas, aviation, education, transport and health sectors have indicated their readiness to join the strike.