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NLC Urges Citizens to Prepare for Nationwide Protest; Government Responds with Emergency Talks

The Federal Government has scheduled a meeting with the representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday in an attempt to avert the nationwide strike that the NLC has called. In light of this, the NLC has advised citizens to stock their homes with food, medicines, and essentials ahead of its planned seven-day strike to protest the removal of fuel subsidies and rising living costs.

The NLC accuses the Tinubu-led Federal Government of failing to meet its demands after the removal of fuel subsidies, causing a significant increase in petrol prices. With movement expected to be severely impacted due to commercial transport operators withdrawing services and markets, schools, and healthcare facilities shutting down, the NLC advises citizens to minimize their movements to avoid being stranded.

The NLC’s strike ultimatum is set to commence on Wednesday, August 2, 2023, and the government’s emergency meeting with the organized labour aims to find a resolution. However, the meeting on Friday reportedly did not occur as the government representatives failed to show up.

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As the situation unfolds, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the National Union of Electricity Employees have confirmed mobilizing their members to halt the supply of fuel and the national electricity grid in response to the planned mass protest.

Meanwhile, the Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, assures Nigerians that the Federal Government will roll out social investment programs to alleviate the suffering of the masses following the subsidy removal.

In the midst of the brewing strike, various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), lawyers, and lawmakers have shared their opinions. Some are urging the NLC to engage in negotiations with the government, while others express support for the strike. Legal experts caution the NLC to consider court orders and possible contempt if the strike proceeds against court rulings.

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Furthermore, the governments of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states have taken measures to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal, including providing transport services at subsidised rates and free transportation for students and civil servants.

In response to the fuel subsidy removal’s economic impact, residents of Osun and Ekiti states appeal to the Federal Government to provide special funds to assist states in alleviating the effects of the subsidy removal. The states are also urged to revive their transport companies to ease the burden on citizens.

The situation remains tense as both the NLC and the government prepare for their meeting on Monday, with the nation’s eyes on the outcome.

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