The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Wednesday said its protest scheduled to commence in seven days is aimed at liberating Nigerians from the shackles of government policies which have caused citizens pain.
This followed an earlier seven-day ultimatum by the NLC to President Bola Tinubu’s administration to reverse “all anti-poor” policies, including the hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), known as petrol.
Moments later, the NLC president, Joe Ajaero, made an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, during which he noted that the union was still analysing the situation with the possibility that the government policy could further plague already dire conditions.
“The situation would be worsened. It is rather a move to rescue Nigerians, to see whether the government can show some level of empathy for us to do things differently to enable Nigerians to survive,” he said.
Almost two months, President Bola Tinubu, in his May 29 inaugural address, declared that “fuel subsidy is gone”.
The policy led to a near-instant hike in fuel prices from around N185 to N500, and up to N617 last week. With rising transportation costs and food prices, thousands have resorted to trekking long distances.
The NLC President argued that the imminent industrial action is to reduce the impact the government’s policies have had on the people at large.
“It can’t get worse than it is today. The impact we are talking of is either the impact on commodities or the impact on the people,” Ajaero said.
“What we are resisting, what we are fighting against, is the impact on the people and the impact is so much. It is worse.”
He bemoaned that policies laid down by the government that ought to be advantageous to the economy were biting hard on the people.
“I don’t know what other consideration one can look at, every government policy in a nation is aimed at benefiting the nation,” the labour leader lamented.
“The naira is gone, economic activity is gone, foodstuff gone. (In terms of) movement, you can’t move, and transportation is gone.”