Nigerian labor union announces nationwide strike over fuel subsidy removal

LAGOS, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria's labor union on Friday declared an indefinite nationwide strike starting Wednesday following the government's decision to cancel fuel subsidy.

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Joe Ajaero announced the strike on Friday in a statement, following a meeting of its national executive council in Abuja, the country's capital.

The first meeting between the new federal government and the union over fuel subsidy removal ended without a consensus earlier this week, according to local media. This comes amid fuel shortages and price hikes across the country after President Bola Tinubu's inaugural speech, in which he declared that "fuel subsidy is gone."

Ajaero, who criticized the removal of fuel subsidy, said the government should revert to the "old price" of the petrol before any formal engagement with the NLC, to protect the Nigerian workforce and put forward additional solutions.

According to a newly released price list by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, the new pump price for petrol ranges from 488 naira (about 1.06 U.S. dollars) per liter to 557 naira (about 1.27 dollars) per liter across the country, compared to the price of less than 200 naira (0.43 dollar) per liter before the announcement of fuel subsidy removal.

Tinubu said in his inaugural speech on Monday that the fuel subsidy, which has long been a heavy burden on the government revenue, has ended as the 2023 budget made no provision for fuel subsidy.

"The fuel subsidy is gone," the new president said, adding his government will instead channel funds into infrastructure and other areas to strengthen the economy.

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