April 18, 2024

Labour Sets Stage for Nationwide Protest as Fuel Queues Emerge Amid NARTO Strike


By: Shabach Bako


The organized Labour has initiated mobilization for a nationwide protest on February 27 and 28, demanding the implementation of agreements with the Federal Government. The move comes in response to the escalating cost of living crisis in Nigeria, with the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) resolving to proceed with the protest.


Amidst these developments, fuel queues surfaced in Kano, Kaduna, Rivers, Ogun states, and Abuja on Monday due to the strike by the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO). The strike, triggered by high operational costs, raised concerns about potential fuel scarcity and disrupted commercial activities.


The NLC, affirming its commitment to the planned protests, cited the government’s failure to fulfill promises and emphasized that the mobilization for the nationwide demonstration was underway. Labour leaders stressed that the protest would proceed as scheduled.


As part of the protest preparations, the NLC National President, Joe Ajaero, highlighted the economic challenges facing millions of Nigerian workers, including hunger, eroded purchasing power, and insecurity. The protest is set to address these concerns, and the labour unions are determined to proceed despite ongoing negotiations with the government on a new minimum wage.


Meanwhile, youth protests erupted in parts of Ibadan, Oyo State, expressing discontent over the surging cost of living, fluctuating food prices, and economic hardship. Similar sentiments were echoed in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, where a lone protester demanded government intervention to revamp industries and stimulate local production.


The strike by NARTO led to fuel queues in various states, prompting government interventions and ongoing negotiations to avert a potential fuel scarcity crisis. While some filling stations continued to dispense fuel in Lagos and Ogun, concerns lingered about potential closures if the tanker drivers’ strike persisted.


In a related development, the Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria downplayed the potential impact of NARTO’s strike on its members, asserting that they had negotiated fuel transportation separately. However, other industry stakeholders warned of possible fuel scarcity if the situation persisted.

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