The Nigeria Labour Congress Embarks On A Two Day Protest

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The Nigeria Labour Congress has kicked off their first protest of the year, a two day protest starting today, the 27th of February 2024. Ongoing in multiple states across the federation including Lagos, Kano, Oyo, Abuja and Port Harcourt, members of the NLC have taken to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the cost of living crisis, insecurity and the general state of the Nigerian economy. Some of the placards displayed expressed sentiments like “Save The Naira, Stop The Collapse Of Industries, Stop Job Losses,” “Double Allocation To Politicians, Renewed Hunger For The People.” 

Since the inauguration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigerians have faced newer levels of challenges, ranging from the incredibly high prices of fuel due to the removal of subsidy, food inflation, a hike in the cost of basic necessities and the consistently plummeting value of the Naira against foreign currencies. While some supporters clamor for the implementation of stringent policies in order to stabilize the economy, there’s been a lot of finger pointing fingers at members of the ruling party, blaming them for voting in President Tinubu. However, irrespective of this, the consequences of these  policies and a lack of mitigating strategies affect all Nigerians, equally.

Image from BBC website

The NLC has consistently spoken out about the effects of the government policies on its members, and citizens at large. In October 2023, it organized a nationwide protest to address this, which was canceled after reaching a 16 point agreement with the Federal Government to implement measures to alleviate the struggles of its citizens. Part of the agreement was the inauguration of a minimum wage committee to review the national minimum wage, a N35,000 wage award to Federal Government workers pending the new national minimum wage, suspension of the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on Diesel for six months beginning from October, 2023, the implementation of tax incentive measures for the private sector and general public. 

The failure of the Federal government to implement this agreement is also one of the reasons behind the current two day protest. Although the success of protests in Nigeria are hardly stellar, the NLC and supporting agencies are committed to communicating its needs to the government and demanding better living conditions for Nigerians.