A file photo of NLC members protesting.
Court Highlights Impact on Tertiary Institutions Following ASUU Strike as Reason for NLC and TUC’s Inability to Engage in Strike Action Amid Subsidy Removal
The National Industrial Court has clarified that the Organised Labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), cannot proceed with their planned strike from Wednesday due to the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). The court issued an order on Monday, restraining the NLC and TUC from engaging in any form of strike action.
Justice O.Y. Anuwe, ruling on an ex parte application, granted the order and stipulated that the defendants be promptly served with the necessary court documents. The application was filed by the Federal Government and the Attorney General of the Federation. The court emphasized the urgency of the matter, highlighting the potential adverse impact on the larger society, including students preparing for the WASSCE, tertiary institutions recently resuming after an ASUU strike, the health sector, and the nation’s economy.
This decision by the court recognizes the need to prioritize the ongoing WASSCE and avoid further disruptions in the education system. The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has confirmed that the WASSCE, which started on May 8 and is scheduled to end on June 23, is currently underway.
President Bola Tinubu had announced the removal of subsidy payments on petrol during his inaugural speech on May 29. The President emphasized that the previous administration did not allocate funds for subsidy beyond June in the 2023 budget. Following the announcement, fuel queues emerged across the country, with retailers hoarding the product and increasing prices.
Currently, petrol is being sold at over N500 per liter, and long queues have formed at fuel stations. This situation has exacerbated the traffic congestion in various parts of the country and led to a significant increase in transportation costs, exceeding a 100% increment.
Discussions between the Organised Labour and the Federal Government have been ongoing, but an agreement has not been reached thus far. The Labour had initially resolved to commence a nationwide strike on Wednesday; however, the court’s order on June 5 has restrained them from doing so.
As the situation unfolds, it is important for all parties involved to continue dialogue and work towards a resolution that addresses the concerns of both the Organised Labour and the wider public, while also considering the impact on critical sectors such as education, healthcare, and the economy.[logo-slider]