The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have extended their strike ultimatum it earlier issued the federal government for two more weeks, following consultations with their affiliate unions over the cash crunch policy.
It is, however, not clear whether a meeting summoned by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige between the leadership of the NLC and CBN prompted the decision to extend the ultimatum for an additional two weeks.
The labour unions made this known at the end of their National Executive Council meeting on Tuesday.
Recall that the labour unions had threatened to embark on a nationwide strike from Wednesday, March 29, 2023 if issues like the cash crunch, fuel scarcity and electricity tariff increase are not addressed by the government.
NLC President, Joe Ajaero said after receiving briefings from its state councils in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, the NLC decided to put on hold the planned stay-at-home directive issued to workers last week.
On Monday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, met with the leadership of the Congress in a last-minute attempt to avert the impending strike.
At the meeting, Emefiele said steps have been taken to alleviate the sufferings of the masses in relation to the the naira crunch in the country.
The apex bank chief said a large volume of funds was made available to the deposit money banks and they were directed to open their branches on Saturdays and Sundays and they complied under strict supervision by the CBN.
President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero had admitted that the cash crunch situation had improved considerably but that they need to monitor the compliance of cash disbursement through the commercial banks for two more weeks.
President of the TUC, Festus Osifo also corroborated Ajaero’s position, saying there was need to benchmark the government, not just concerning scarcity of cash but the challenges associated with fuel products and unending queues, including electricity tarrif.
Osifo said CBN had erred in eroding the confidence of the people regarding their monetary policy, hence they need to restore the confidence within the two weeks grace period.
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