A Coalition of Northern Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to reconsider the ongoing nationwide strike, taking into account the economic challenges faced by ordinary Nigerians. The CSOs emphasized that the indefinite strike is causing untold hardship, especially in the North, where daily economic activities are a significant source of livelihood.
In an 8-point communique issued after an emergency meeting at Arewa House, Kaduna, the CSOs encouraged the labour unions to explore alternative dispute resolution mechanisms instead of resorting to strike actions that could further exacerbate the economic plight of the common man.
The communique, jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary, Comrade Musa Abdullahi Danbatta and Comrade Yusuf Ibrahim Kudan, acknowledged the right of the NLC to pressure the government for its demands but questioned the timing in light of the numerous challenges facing the country. The CSOs emphasized that the issues raised were inherited problems being addressed by the Federal Government.
While expressing sensitivity to the concerns of the labour unions, the CSOs urged them to opt for round table engagements as a more productive option, stating that it would be counterproductive to slow down the process with frequent strikes.
The communique supported President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, noting his economic policies geared toward recovery, sustainable growth, and development. The CSOs called for the immediate cessation of the strike and urged the labour unions to engage in round table discussions with the Federal Government to address their concerns.
They highlighted Tinubu’s initiatives, including subsidy removal, interventions like minimum wage increases, support for states and local governments, and various palliatives to ease the impact of subsidy removal on citizens. The CSOs also acknowledged efforts in petroleum industry reforms, repatriation of looted funds, and observed that the Tax and Fiscal Reforms Committee is working to enhance the national economy.
The CSOs expressed optimism that these reforms, along with the support of labour unions, would contribute to redirecting the economy and fostering long-term economic growth.