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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday resolved to join forces with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to mobilise Nigerian workers to shut down the whole country starting from next week Wednesday should the federal government fail to reverse the recent hike in the price of petrol from N86.50 to N145 per litre.
However, in a sign of a major crack in the labour family, The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) yesterday applauded government’s decision to deregulate and scrap fuel subsidy, describing the decision as courageous and long overdue.
They made their positions known at a press conference staged at the end of their joint National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the Transcorp Hotel in Calabar.
In a related development, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo yesterday stated the rationale behind the federal government removal of fuel subsidy, saying it could no longer provide the foreign exchange for the importation of the product.
The NLC threat to shut down the nation was made after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the Labour House, Abuja.
The NLC NEC gave the federal government till midnight of Tuesday within which to revert to the old prices of petrol products and electricity, or face a total nationwide strike.
The congress said there would be formal communication today in Abuja about the strike option, and that labour will address all the issues at stake and plans to ground the whole country.
“The NLC has deliberately delayed their press conference till today (Saturday) in order to liaise with their TUC counterpart, harmonise their positions and jointly address the media,” said a source.
Labour also directed all its affiliate unions across the states to put in place a monitoring team to ensure the success of the planned strike.