THE Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has directed workers to report banks not dispensing cash to its state councils, ahead of a planned strike over the scarcity of naira notes across the country.
This is even as leaders of NLC have scheduled a meeting of the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting tomorrow to take a final decision on Wednesday’s planned nationwide strike.
Vanguard gathered NLC gave the directive weekend after its NEC meeting on Friday where affiliate unions and state councils of NLC were directed to monitor the cash situation and how banks were dispensing naira notes to workers.
Speaking in an interview with Vanguard yesterday, the President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, said: “Our affiliate unions and state councils were directed to monitor the situation. Workers have been directed to report banks not dispensing cash to NLC state offices.
”Our state councils and affiliates unions are to report back to us the prevailing situations in their states by Tuesday when we will hold another NEC meeting. The report we get from them will determine our next line of action.
”In fact, the seven days ultimatum we gave will expire on Tuesday (March 28). The report will determine our final decision. As we speak, I am out on the streets of Abuja monitoring the situation.
”I am aware also that officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, were in Lagos on Saturday and Sunday to monitor the situation.”
It was gathered that part of the decision was that “the nationwide strike will be a sit-at-home and picketing of the headquarters of the CBN and all its offices nationwide on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. If the strike commences, it would continue until cash becomes available to all Nigerians.”
Femi Falana declares support for the strike
Meanwhile, Femi Falana SAN, the National Chairman of the Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) has declared: “Solidarity for the action promised by the NLC, which if anything is overdue. We look forward to being able to assist with the pickets of the CBN offices in every state and providing any support that we can for the planned stay-at-home action.
According to him, “These are for the decision to call for action by your members over the lingering cash crisis. We hope that this action will be implemented, as planned, and as soon as possible, as we cannot over-emphasise the trauma that the lingering cash restriction policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is causing, especially to poor families.”
It will be recalled that officials of the CBN met with the leaders of NLC on Thursday to brief them of the effort of the apex bank to stabilize the current situation across the country.
The two-man delegation made up of the CBN Deputy Governor in charge of operations and the Deputy Governor in charge of Economic Policy, had told the NLC leaders that about N20billion was pushed out last Thursday, with Lagos and Abuja getting N4billion and N2billion respectively in a bid to address the crunch.
It was also agreed that banks should work on Saturday and Sunday as well as extend their working hours to stabilize the situation.