The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC has declared a nationwide strike over the scarcity of cash in the country.
The NLC National President, Joe Ajaero gave the directive on Wednesday, asking public sector workers in the country to embark on strike beginning from Wednesday next week.
He also directed that affiliate unions constituting the Nigeria Labour Congress should also be on standby for picketing exercises across all branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, nationwide.
The directive comes at the expiration of an earlier ultimatum issued by the Central Working Committee members of the NLC last week criticising the cash swap policy of the Federal Government.
Ajaero said the decision to picket CBN branches became necessary, as the Federal Government and the CBN have not shown any commitment to address the situation.
He lamented that despite the Supreme Court order allowing the old N500 and N1000 notes to circulate with the new notes till December 31 this year, the situation appears to be getting worse as workers cannot access cash to pay fares to work, nor can they buy food for their families.
Briefing reporters on Wednesday at the headquarters of NLC, the apex Labour union also criticised the pricing irregularities in the petroleum sector, which was also a cause for concern.
“Last week, we gave an ultimatum for the review of the cash crunch bedeviling the country, but we have discovered to our dismay that as at this moment not much effort has been made to ameliorate the situation, the government is still foot dragging on these issues we raised.
“Based on this, we met again this morning to review our position and resolved that by Wednesday next week, all CBN branches will be picketed.
“Workers are directed to stay at home too because people cannot eat, workers can no longer go to the office, we have been pushed to the wall, we have decided to take our destiny in our hands, we have mobilised our workers for this exercise,” Ajaero stated.
The NLC has no fewer than 43 affiliate unions which include, but not limited to, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, the National Union of Road Transport Workers, among others, according to the Punch.