The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) have announced their participation in the nationwide strike scheduled to commence on October 3.
This decision marks a critical turning point in the planned shutdown of Nigeria, as NUPENG represents a wide spectrum of workers within the oil and gas sectors, including upstream oil platform workers, fuel tanker drivers, and pump attendants.
At the heart of this strike are two central labor unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), who are orchestrating this nationwide action.
Despite warnings from the country’s justice minister about breaching a court order, these unions remain steadfast in their commitment to the cause.
The trigger for this strike can be traced back to the October 1 address by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The National Executive Councils of both the TUC and NLC have declared their intention to shut down the country if the President’s address does not address their pressing demands.
NUPENG, as an affiliate of the NLC, has called upon its branches and units to ensure full compliance with the strike directive.
This includes the establishment of compliance and monitoring teams across all operational locations.
In a joint statement issued by NUPENG’s President, Williams Akporeha, and General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, they expressed deep concern about the government’s insensitivity to the socio-economic challenges faced by Nigerians.
They lamented the absence of accompanying policies to cushion the impact of harsh economic decisions, emphasizing that this strike is a last resort to demand the necessary socio-economic reforms.
The gravity of the situation is not lost on NUPENG, as a 24-hour industrial action could have far-reaching effects on businesses and the socio-economic fabric of the nation.
The government’s perceived indifference to the plight of workers and the general populace has led to this drastic measure.
ASSBIFI, too, has issued directives to its members, urging them to join the nationwide strike.
The Assistant General Secretary, Admin and Planning, Saka Adekunle, and Head of International & Industrial Relations, Anthony Emeh, communicated this decision.
They emphasized the failure of the government to meet the demands of labor as the catalyst for this action.
Members have been advised to take necessary precautions to ensure their safety and protect the organization’s properties from potential disruptions during the strike.
As the nation braces for this significant strike, it’s clear that these unions are determined to make their voices heard.
The impact of their collective action will reverberate throughout Nigeria, highlighting the urgency of addressing the socio-economic challenges facing the country.