The Nigeria Labour Congress has vowed to embark on a nationwide protest at the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum it issued to the government to address the demands by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The congress also said it would declare a three-day strike if the Federal Government failed to resolve the issues.
ASUU and other unions in the public university system have been on strike for the last two months following the failure of the government to implement various agreements.
Rising from a meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, the NLC Central Working Committee in a communiqué issued on Thursday, said its solidarity protests and strike were meant to draw the government’s attention to the prolonged shutdown of the universities.
The communiqué was signed by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja
It said, “Within the span of the subsisting 21 days ultimatum given by congress, the NLC will hold nationwide protests against the current strike action affecting students of Nigeria’s public universities and occasioned by the government’s failure to honour the agreement reached with trade unions in our universities.
“The protest is to draw the attention of the government to the inherent catastrophe in the emerging culture of social apartheid in our society, especially as marked by a prolonged lockout of students from working-class and poor homes from our public universities while the children of the rich continue their academic pursuits uninterrupted;
“And if at the end of the national protests and the 21-day ultimatum, the Federal Government still fails to resolve the industrial crises in Nigeria’s universities, the congress would be left with no other option than to embark on a three-day nationwide warning strike action in solidarity with our affiliates in the universities and with Nigerian students whose future and wellbeing are being robbed.”
The communiqué noted the total failure of the government’s “neoliberal and anti-people policies” in the energy sector and called for the immediate rehabilitation of the refineries and the building of new refineries in line with the agreement reached with the government in September 2020.
The CWC also called on the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority to ensure that imported refined petroleum products complied with industry standards and that petrol is sold at the official pump price in all the states and filling stations.
Violators, it insisted, should be prosecuted and made to face the full wrath of the law.
The CWC demanded the reversal of the privatisation of the electricity sector using the current five-year review window; improvement in public electricity supply, immediate provision of pre-paid meters to electricity consumers, the stoppage of estimated billings and prosecution of distribution companies “who criminally extort electricity consumers especially workers of their hard-earned money under the guise of estimated billings.”
The congress described the current siege of insecurity as totally unacceptable and called on the government to rein in “this monstrous cancer before it consumes the entire country.”