Workers from all sectors in Nigeria walked off their jobs on Tuesday to protest the growing cost of living caused by the government’s removal of gas subsidies, threatening to “shut down” Africa’s largest economy if their demands for improved welfare are not met.
The Nigeria Labor Congress workers association began a two-day “warning strike” on Tuesday, their second in over a month. They met last week and complained that the decision of Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu to remove gas subsidies has “unleashed massive suffering on Nigerian workers and masses.”
Last-minute efforts to avert the strike failed on Monday evening after the labor unions’ leaders shunned a meeting called by the Labor Ministry. Drawn from all sectors including health and electricity, the workers’ strike is expected to disrupt activities in many offices, further hurting Africa’s largest economy whose growth has been slowed by declining government revenues and oil theft.
The president of the labor association, Joe Ajaero, said there would be a “total and indefinite shutdown of the nation” in two weeks unless the government fulfills the workers’ demands including an increase of wages.