The National Industrial Court of Nigeria has restrained the Nigerian Labour Congress from proceeding on a nationwide strike by next week Wednesday to protest against the fuel subsidy removal by the newly inaugurated President Bola Tinubu-led government.
The court case, NICN/ABJ/158/2023, is the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Attorney-General of the Federation versus the Nigeria Labour Congres (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
The government had taken the NLC and the TUC to court, praying for an order to stop the planned nationwide strike.
“I have read the supporting affidavit, the exhibits the FGN brought and the written addresses of the counsels. Having considered the application, I hereby order as follows; the motion is granted as prayed,” an address by the court judge on Monday said.
The Nigerian Labour Congress had released its communiqué on Friday confirming the nationwide strike by next week Wednesday to protest against the fuel subsidy removal.
The NLC had listed 12 grounds on which the nationwide action must go on, while digging out humongous corruption and unaccounted funds spent by the Nigerian government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) under the guise of fuel subsidy.
This comes amid fuel shortages across the country occasioned by President Bola Tinubu’s inaugural speech in which he declared that “fuel subsidy is gone”.
The union announced the industrial action on Friday, following a meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja over the fuel subsidy removal and subsequent hike in the pump price of petrol.
Meanwhile, according to the communiqué signed by NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, and the General Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, the NLC listed out reasons why the nationwide action must hold.
“The NEC-in-session considered the huge suffering pervading the nation, the outrage expressed by the majority and the increased attendant fears of the consequences of the PMS price hike unanimously condemned the actions of the federal government and reached the following conclusions:
“1. That it was unlawful for the federal government to have announced the withdrawal of the Subsidy on PMS. 2. That the 2023 Appropriation Act made provisions for the funding of the subsidy regime on PMS till the end of June, 2023. 3. That it is unfair for the government to knowingly take action that will inflict pains on the populace and workers without putting adequate safeguards in place.
“4. That discussions were already on and understanding reached with government on the conditions precedent before the withdrawal of subsidy on PMS. 5. That the Local refineries especially the publicly owned four have remained comatose as a result of government’s inability to get them operationally turned around. 6. That we cannot accept any Petroleum Product Price increase until products are refined locally.
“7. That federal government’s decision was unilateral and therefore runs counter to the spirit of national consensus and Social Dialogue.”