The United Action Front of Civil Society, representing various civil society groups and activists, has thrown its weight behind the indefinite nationwide strike declared jointly by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), set to commence on October 3, 2023. The strike action was triggered by the failure of the government, led by the Tinubu administration, to honour agreements and pledges, particularly in the wake of a two-day warning strike earlier this month.
At the core of the protests is the arbitrary fuel price hike based on the subsidy removal of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). This move has significantly pushed a large portion of the Nigerian populace below the poverty line, leaving them struggling to make ends meet. The Civil Society contends that the government’s approach lacks empathy and comprehension of the economic challenges faced by the country, emphasising that the policy has further impoverished millions of households that were already grappling with meagre wages and incomes.
The Civil Society also expressed concern over the government’s lack of efforts to reduce the costs of governance, stating that the administration has expanded the cabinet and increased the number of standing committees in the National Assembly, further straining the nation’s resources. This expansion, they said, contrasts sharply with the citizens’ daily reality, where a majority struggle to afford basic necessities due to the prevailing economic hardships.
Furthermore, the Civil Society criticised the delay in the review of the minimum wage, pointing out that the current monthly salary of N30,000 can no longer sustain an average Nigerian worker, who often supports multiple dependents. They argued that the government’s reluctance to address this issue has intensified the citizens’ suffering.
In response to these pressing issues, the indefinite strike action is considered an inevitable step to prevent further economic deterioration. The Civil Society calls on all sectors of society, including civil society leaders, activists, and working people in both the public and private sectors, to join forces in support of the strike. The focus is not just on opposing harmful policies but also on demanding living wages for the working population and improved welfare conditions for all Nigerians.
“The indefinite strike action is not just a protest; it is a stand for the rights and dignity of every Nigerian citizen. We must unite to save Nigeria from policies that lead to economic slavery and push our fellow countrymen into despair. It’s time for a collective voice to demand a better future for all,” a spokesperson for the Civil Society stated.
Furthermore, this collective effort aims to draw attention to the urgent need for economic reforms and foster a fairer, more equitable society for all Nigerians.