The New Year is likely to witness a flurry of wild cat protests and industrial actions that would be sparked by unpopular government policies. The organized labour has already signalled that it will not be for a tea party next year.
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it will embark on protest rallies from January 27, nationwide to reject the planned increase in the price of premium motor spirit otherwise known as petrol by the Federal Government.
NLC said the protests will kick off instantly and without notice in all the 36 states in case, the government goes ahead to increase fuel before the planned January 27 nationwide rallies.
These are some of the decisions reached at the National Executive Council of the NLC held in Abuja on Friday. The NEC said it considered the recommendations made to it by the Central Working Committee during the meeting.
“Pursuant to its rejection and resistance of further increase in the price of petrol, to organize protest rallies in all the 36 states of the federation on 27th January 2022 which would culminate in the submission of protest letters to all the 36 state governors. Subsequently, a national protest will take place on 1st February 2022 in Abuja; and
“In case government decides to announce new petrol prices before the proposed protests, the protest will kick off instantly and without any other further notice in every state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory,” NLC said in a communique signed by its President, Ayuba Wabba and Secretary – General, Emmanuel Ugboaja.
The meeting also considered the plan to concession federal assets, level of insecurity and electoral reforms among others.
It urged the government to adopt effective economic policies to halt the inflationary trend as it presents additional pressure on the lean income of Nigerian workers and other citizens and has made life terribly unbearable for the poor masses of our country.
On insecurity, the NEC reasoned that the crises of insecurity in Nigeria has continued to deteriorate since its last meeting and that the parlous state of insecurity apart from scaring away potential local and foreign investors from the Nigerian economy has also unleashed an unquantifiable social dislocation and crisis in the country including food insecurity, widespread hunger and mass destitution.
The meeting, therefore, urged the Federal Government to consider the recommendations and policy initiatives gleaned from the NLC National Summit on Peace and Security and National Roundtable on Social Protection Cover in developing a National Plan of Action against Insecurity in Nigeria.
The communique read in part: “The Federal Government should adopt a multi-stakeholder approach and innovative non-kinetic intervention model towards achieving a sustainable solution to the crises of insecurity in Nigeria.
“The plans by the National Assembly and Nigeria Customs Service to introduce excise duties on carbonated drinks manufactured in Nigeria, the NEC reasoned will only exacerbate the prevailing hyper-inflation of essential goods especially food consumables, lead to a decline in sales, job losses in the food sub-sector and increased hardship for ordinary Nigerians.
“On the plans for the privatisation of Nigeria’s railways, public healthcare facilities and concession of Nigeria’s major international airports, NEC reasoned that the executive arm of government at the federal level and the National Assembly should work together with Organized Labour and manufacturers in the sub-sector for a win-win solution;
“NEC resolved that plans to privatise and concession prime national assets would be tantamount to ‘State Capture’ of the commonwealth. The NEC urged government and promoters of the privatization and concession plans to learn from the misadventure of the power sector privatization which instead of improving the lives of the ordinary Nigerian have increased the level of suffering and hardship faced by the Nigerian masses; and
“NEC, therefore, resolved to reject the concession of Nigeria’s four major airports and the privatization of Nigeria’s prime national assets including the Transmission Company of Nigeria and other assets billed through legislative actions for privatisation.”
On electoral reform, the NEC urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Bill into law.
“The CWC considers the provisions in the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill especially the provisions for electronic voting and direct political party primaries as progressive and capable of delivering inclusive, transparent and credible elections in Nigeria.
“The NEC, therefore, resolved to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to pass the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law particularly given that he has less than two days to sign the bill into law; and “It resolved to call for even broader and deeper electoral reform including the establishment of Electoral Offences Commission, the democratization of the appointment of the national leadership of the INEC, the adoption of Proportional Representation in our laws and Diaspora Voting,”
“The Federal Government should adopt a multi-stakeholder approach and innovative non-kinetic intervention model towards achieving a sustainable solution to the crises of insecurity in Nigeria.”