The Nigeria Labor Congress and its endless charades

Reacting to the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to increase the price of the petrol to N170, the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) has condemned the move by the Buhari led administration in Nigeria, stating that it will only lead to a state of increased suffering for the people.

While Nigerians have come out to condemn the decision of the Federal Government to increase yet again, the petroleum fuel price because couple of months ago, same petroleum price was increased by the federal government. What is more interesting to see here is the reaction of the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) to condemn the action of the Federal Government.

It would be recalled that during the last increase done by the federal government a couple of months ago, which saw the Federal Government increased both the price of the petrol and also hiked electricity tariff price, the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) in response to this act by the Federal Government of Nigeria had called for a nation wide strike to Protest against this obnoxious decision.  The proposed strike was a move that was well accepted and embraced by many Nigerians who were ready to support the national pressure group to ensure that the Federal Government backed down in its decision, however as Nigerians would see it ,the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) to the dismay and utmost disappointment of many Nigerians called off the strike few hours to the start of the strike.

Citing various reasons why they had called off the Strike, stating the Federal Government had met certain of their demands with the promise to meet others in due course.

Whatever the promises were back then, the table has been turned to the Nigeria Labor Congress again and Nigerians await what decision it is that they will make again. The federal government has it has always done in recent times have again increased the petroleum price for the umpteenth time, Nigerians watch what it moves the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) will take again.

Will they resort to pull the proposed Strike action again just like it did the last time, making a mockery of over two hundred million inhabitants or will just they fold their hands and watch while they make empty threats at the federal government.

Just like in previous times, they have started on the usual note, and that is their usual act of giving statement or making press release to condemn the decision of the federal government.

And this time they have done the usual, telling the Federal Government that their decision to further hike the price of petrol is unacceptable as Nigerians should not be made to suffer the failure and inadequacies of the Federal Government to see to it that the nation’s refinery are put to effective work.

According to the statement released by the President of the Nigeria Labor Congress, Ayuba Wanna, he stated that if the Nigerian Government had stayed true to its duties and had been proactive in attending to its responsibilities, this ugly situation would have been avoided.

He further went on to say that there is a need for the government to declare a state of emergency in the petroleum sector and put up the necessary Structures to ensure that the refineries are working.

While we can all agree with the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) for their submission, we must also ask certain questions about the credibility of the body and the purpose of its existence and usefulness to the Nigerian Populace.

As many would love to believe that the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) was created to serve and protect the interest of the Nigerian populace, what we have now in our present day situation is a contrast to its original function and purpose of creation as the body seems to have lost it credibility and voice.

All they exist for in the eyes of many is to make needless press statement and issue empty threats, over the years the association have fallen from grace to grass in the eyes of many as they have proven themselves to be ineffective in acting where it really matters.

Just as the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) president stated, Nigerians are suffering, there is a high level of poverty in the land, so many states Government are owing their workers salary, many pensions yet unpaid, lack of social amenities, bad working conditions, a very wide gap between the rich and the poor amongst a beehive of other social ills surrounding the welfare and well being of many Nigerian workers and populace in general. Yet this body exist with little or no impact to meaningfully contribute towards the good of all in the nation.

More than giving press release and making statements to show displeasure or condemnation over the misinformed decisions and activities of the Government, the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) must take the bold step to add value and importance to itself.

The body as a pressure group must rise to its true design and give Nigerians enough reasons to have faith in it again. We must not mince words with ourselves, the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) has no clear cut ideological framework, all they seems to do is a reactionary function where they wait for  the government to make a wrong move then, they issue a letter to condemn the act, make a proposed case for a national strike which they eventually call of after few negotiation with the Government even if the demands are met or not.

Many has turned the platform to a building platform for them to attain or build their political career and gain national relevance.

The nation Nigeria is in a critical moment when the constructive activities of a body like the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) will be much appreciated, the body must see to it that they do not undermine their importance or relevance by failing to take the bull by the horn. Nigeria needs all the helps that it can to ensure that the Federal Government do not continue to make decisions that will jeopardize the future of the nation and the welfare of the people


Marcus Amudipe

November 18, 2020

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