NLC Suspends 2-Day Nationwide Protest, See Reasons

by Ohepo Ohepo

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has announced the suspension of its nationwide two-day protest after just one day, stating that the primary goals of the demonstration had been effectively met. This decision was made public through a communique following the National Executive Council’s meeting, where it was acknowledged that the protest’s significant success on its first day led to the achievement of its key objectives.

Nigeria is currently facing significant economic challenges, including rising inflation rates, escalating food prices, a forex crisis, and the removal of petrol subsidies. These issues have spurred protests in various parts of the country, highlighting the populace’s growing discontent with the cost of living and economic hardship.

Prior to the protest, there were last-minute discussions between the presidency and labor leaders, which unfortunately ended without a resolution, leading to the NLC’s decision to proceed with the protest as planned. The nationwide protest saw a significant turnout on Tuesday, effectively halting economic activities and emphasizing the public’s grievances, particularly concerning hunger and the demand for an updated minimum wage.

Joe Ajaero, a prominent labor leader, emphasized that the protest was not solely focused on wage negotiations but also addressed the broader issue of hunger affecting those outside the workforce.

Following the successful turnout on the first day, the NLC decided to suspend further street protests, opting instead for nationwide press conferences across all states and an extension of the ultimatum given to the government. The NLC has extended the original 7-day ultimatum by an additional week, setting a new deadline of March 13, 2024, for the government to meet their demands based on agreements from October 2, 2023, and other points raised during the protest.

The labor union has made it clear that further actions will be considered should the government fail to address their demands within the stipulated 14-day period.

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