Subsidy: FG warns NLC over planned strike, says its contempt of court

The Federal Government of Nigeria has issued a warning to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) regarding their planned nationwide strike over the removal of fuel subsidy. The government contends that the strike action is in contempt of a court order issued by the National Industrial Court (NIC), which had restrained the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from proceeding with their earlier planned strike in protest of the fuel subsidy removal. The Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Beatrice Jeddy-Agba, cautioned the NLC against disregarding court orders.

The NLC recently issued a notice to begin a nationwide strike on August 2, citing opposition to the removal of fuel subsidy, which has led to a significant increase in petrol prices since President Bola Tinubu’s inauguration on May 29.

It is important to note that when the fuel subsidy removal was initially announced, both the NLC and the TUC had declared a strike in response. However, following extensive negotiations with the Federal Government, the strike was later suspended at the last minute.

During this period of ongoing negotiations, the Federal Government approached the National Industrial Court in Abuja and secured a court order on June 5, restraining the NLC and TUC from proceeding with their proposed strike against the unilateral removal of fuel subsidy. The court order is intended to remain in effect until the resolution of the underlying lawsuit.

Government’s Warning: In light of the planned strike by the NLC, the Federal Government has reminded the labor union leadership to respect and comply with the court order. The Solicitor General of the Federation emphasized the importance of upholding the rule of law and treating court orders with due respect.

The removal of fuel subsidy has been a contentious issue, leading to public outcry over the subsequent surge in petrol prices. The NLC’s planned strike is a manifestation of the dissatisfaction and concern among workers and citizens regarding the impact of the policy on their livelihoods.

The Federal Government’s warning to the NLC regarding the planned strike over fuel subsidy removal highlights the legal complexities surrounding the issue. While the NLC expresses its opposition to the policy and its impact on the public, the court order remains a significant factor that must be considered. As the situation unfolds, it is essential for both the government and the labor union to engage in constructive dialogue to address the concerns of the Nigerian workforce while adhering to the rule of law.

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