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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Organised labour under the auspices of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has given the federal government one week ultimatum to resolve the issues causing the prolonged scarcity of local currency and petrol.
Addressing journalists in Abuja Monday, on the decision of the Central Working Committee of the NLC, its president, Comrade Joe Ajaero, said that the labour movement has observed with regret the sufferings the workers and Nigerians have been subjected to by the cash squeeze resulting from government’s naira redesign policy and has resolved to issue a seven-day ultimatum to the federal government to end the cash crunch or workers will stay away from duty nationwide.
While briefing newsmen on the position of labour, Ajaero said: “The :Congress wishes to inform the federal government that we will no longer keep quiet to this issue of perennial fuel scarcity and arbitrary increase of petroleum products prices.
“On the issue of cash crunch, the NLC is giving the Federal Government of Nigeria, the agencies of government including the Central Bank of Nigeria, and top banking institutions, seven working days to address the issue of the cash crunch.
“If they fail to do this at the expiration of the seven days, the Congress is directing all workers in the country to stay at home because it has become very difficult to even access one naira to enter vehicles to your workplace.”
Ajaero said that it has become very difficult to buy goods, especially from traders who don’t have bank accounts.
“This is the situation we have found ourselves. The federal government came out with the policy that even the old currency are still valid. What we have discovered is that even when the banks give you those old currencies, the traders are not accepting it. And even when you take it to the same banks, the banks are not accepting it either. We are being frustrated to a level that we can no longer keep quiet,” he said.
On the political situation in the country, NLC urged all gladiators to remember that the interest of this country is paramount to all and that they should do everything reasonably possible to make sure that the system is maintained.
It also cautioned the judiciary to ensure that justice is done to the complaints by the aggrieved ones.
“The courts are there where they will take their matters to and we urge the courts to do justice to the issues brought to them,” he said.