By Emmanuel Adeleke
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government over the rising cost of living in the country.
In a joint statement issued on Thursday, the labour bodies said the government has failed to honour the 16-point agreement that was reached on October 2, 2023, with them.
According to the statement, the labour movements accused the government of neglecting the welfare of Nigerians and the workers.
They warned that everything must be done within two weeks to avoid a situation where they may be compelled to take appropriate steps to protect Nigerian workers and masses.
“These agreements which were reached with the federal government were focused on addressing the massive suffering and the general harsh socioeconomic consequences of the ill-conceived and ill-executed International Monetary Fund IMF/World Bank induced hike in the price of PMS and the Devaluation of the Naira.
“These dual policies have had, as we predicted, dire economic consequences for the masses and workers of Nigeria.
“Widespread Hunger is now ravishing millions of Nigerians, with the workers purchasing power significantly eroded, while insecurity has assumed an increasing dimension. Nigerians are left wondering where their next meals will come from and what tomorrow might bring.
“The level of panic and anxiety amongst the populace has become nightmarish unfortunately, in the midst of all these, it appears our government is bereft of appropriate measures to ameliorate the huge burden it has foisted on the citizenry.
“It is regrettable that we are compelled to resort to such measures, but the persistent neglect of the welfare of citizens and Nigerian workers and the massive hardship leave us with no choice.
“Constrained by this development and recognising the urgency of the situation and the imperative of ensuring the protection and defence of the rights and dignity of Nigerian workers and citizens, the NLC and TUC hereby issue a stern ultimatum to the Federal Government to honour their part of the understanding within 14 days from tomorrow, the February 9, 2024.
“We call upon the federal government to honor its commitments without delay. The time for empty promises and excuses has passed.
“The time for action is now. Our patience has worn thin and the situation has become unbearable for workers and masses all over the federation. Further silence amounts to committing mass suicide and this remains the only feasible course of action left for us and Nigerians to -compel remedial action by government.
“We are committed to this resolve towards salvaging Nigerian workers and masses from the apparent insensitivity and lethargy of those in the corridors of power who are supposed to be the bastion of public trust,” the statement read.