By Christiana Onuoha
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Monday issued a 7-day ultimatum to the federal government to address the current issue of fuel and naira scarcity in the country.
It specifically said it would direct its members to stay away from various workplaces and mobilise for mass actions if the lingering issues persist.
Joe Ajaero, President of the NLC, disclosed this while briefing journalists at Labour House, Abuja on the outcome of a meeting convened by the Central Working Committee of the congress.
The labour leader, who bemoaned continued hardship by which Nigerians are subjected to, argued that Nigerians, especially workers have been pushed to the wall and they can no longer keep quiet.
“Gentlemen of the press, it will interest you to know the state of the nation at this critical point that our economy is in.
“First, you may have noticed that it is actually difficult for Nigerian workers to access their hard-earned money in banks and Nigerians are questioning the inability of banks to provide them their money which they were asked to pay into the bank.
“You would also have noticed that it is difficult to see petroleum products. Where you see in some parts of this country, a litre costs as much as N350 and above.
“On the issue of cash crunch, the NLC is giving the federal government of Nigeria and agencies of government, including the Central Bank of Nigeria and other banking institutions seven working days to address the issue of the cash crunch.
“If they fail to do this at the expiration of the seven days, the congress will direct all workers in the country to stay at home because it has become very difficult to access money to enter vehicles to their workplaces.
“It is difficult, even difficult to buy products, especially from traders who don’t have bank accounts,” Ajaero told journalists at the briefing.”
He added, “On this issue of fuel, the congress wishes to inform the Federal Government that we will no longer keep quiet on this issue of perennial fuel scarcity and arbitrary increases on petroleum.”
The NLC President also accused some state governors of interfering in the affairs of the organised labour, saying many of them are insisting that some persons must be put as the congress state chairmen.
Ajaero, who cited Imo as where such development happened a few days ago, threatened that economic activities in the State would be paralysed for a long time if the State governor, Hope Uzodinma did not stare clear of the congress’ affairs in the State.
He stated, “In the last few days, you might have also noticed that the position of NLC, and the State council elections we had, there were some State governors who now decide who becomes States’ NLC Chairman in those States.
“At our delegate conference, we told you that some things are not known in this dispensation. That brings us to the state of things in Imo State where the governor openly challenged that everybody must step down for a particular candidate, and we told him that something like this doesn’t happen in a civilized society.
“Before now, our state secretariat in Imo State had been destroyed. When I say destroyed…, it is still there for anybody to go and see, destroyed by the thugs sent by the governor. The industrial action that we started in Imo State will be doubled in the coming days.
CWC is equally being put on notice about what will befall that State unless the right thing is done. However, some elders from the state are engaging our council in Imo State.”