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Nigerian Workers Challenge Tinubu's Economic Reforms

FILE — Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, protest on the street in Lagos, July 26, 2022.

ABUJA — Nigerian workers Tuesday went on strike to demand a reversal of reforms implemented by President Bola Tinubu with the mandate of reviving economic growth in the West African nation.

The Nigerian Labor Congress, NLC, a union in Nigeria that represents over a million workers, called on Tinubu’s administration to address recent reforms that have increased fuel prices and weakened the nations Naira currency.

The increased costs of living faced by Nigerians were a result of attempts by Tinubu to address record debt after he scrapped petrol subsidies thereby tripling pump prices.

John Angese, Bayelsa state secretary for the NLC said the policies implemented by Tinubu have resulted in the "astronomical increase" of prices "in transportation, food, goods and services."

"Today’s action is [to] see how government can reverse its policy because every family is feeling the pain of [the] harsh policies," he added.

Nigerian unions staged a strike a month ago but suspended their action following an offer of talks with the government, but those did not result in concessions sufficient to placate organized labor.

Most banks in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, were shut on Tuesday while electricity workers were locked out of their premises by unions, causing power cuts in most homes and offices in the capital.

"We are all outside while other workers have gone home. Now, there's even no supply centrally to Abuja," one electricity worker said.

In the commercial capital of Lagos, the strike was more muted because most workers are employed in the less unionized private sector while in parts of Kano state union officials were enforcing a stay at home at schools and banks.