Nigeria court stops planned fuel price strike

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    Nigeria’s National Industrial Court (NIC) has stopped the unionisable workers from embarking on a national strike against petrol price hike.

    The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had concluded plans to embark on a strike on Wednesday.

    The unions had, in a communique at the end of an emergency meeting on Saturday, vowed to embark on a nationwide industrial action should the federal government refuse to reverse the sudden hike in the price of fuel.

    Legal dispute

    NIC judge Justice Babatunde Adejumo restrained the unions from going on strike, pending the determination of a suit the federal government lodged before it.

    Justice Adejumo further ordered all the parties to maintain a status quo until the legal dispute was settled.

    The order followed an ex-parte application that was filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.

    Shutting down

    Determined to abort the strike action, Mr Malami went to the NIC begging it to restrain the labour unions from “shutting down the nation”.

    The Nigerian Senate has supported the new fuel prices and on Tuesday endorsed the government’s decision to peg the new of petrol costs at N145 per litre.

    An executive session presided over by the Senate Deputy President, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, called on the government to prevail upon the unions to stop the strike.

    Ordinary people

    Mr Ekweremadu said the Senate sympathised with Nigerians for the hardship which the new prices of petrol would cause.

    “We resolved that we sympathise with ordinary people of Nigeria on the hardships they are going through.

    “The Senate will engage the Federal Government to find sustainable ways of improving the welfare of the people of Nigeria,” he said.

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