Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday said the federal government is pushing workers to the wall, saying the level of hardship created by fuel and naira scarcity will no longer be tolerated.
The NLC said it was restraining itself from taking drastic steps that may sabotage the February 2023 general elections.
The congress’ outgoing president, Ayuba Wabba, said this during the NLC 13th National Delegates’ Conference held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Daily Trust reports that there has been a crisis across the country over the scarcity of the new notes as thousands of Nigerians spend hours across ATMs and banking halls, to withdraw money. Scarcity of fuel has also compounded the woes of Nigerians.
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Speaking on the development, the labour leader said, “This conference is taking place at a time when many Nigerians and workers are being pushed to the wall or into chaotic situations in our banks and filling stations.
“Nigerians are queuing up endlessly to assess the new currency notes and PMS. This is certainly not acceptable, and it is condemnable.
“We have more than enough to actually address those two issues. First, we are a major oil producing country. And therefore we are the only country in the world that is a member of OPEC that still depends on importation.
“Secondly, we don’t understand the rationale that you lodge your money in your bank account and you are limited from withdrawing what you want to use. No economy in the world has practiced this economic model.
“People forget that our economy is rural and informal, and therefore people need to transact business in cash. Go to our local markets, our commodity markets, you will see people transacting business actually in cash.
“These policies if not addressed within the shortest possible time, nobody can predict what will be the outcome.
“Yesterday, I trekked to, almost midnight. I actually went to get some funds from the POS. All the ATMs in area eleven were not dispensing. We have seen a situation where people are protesting in banks. They want to access their money, yet they can’t access the money.
“There is a theory that possibly we’re also working towards making sure that the forthcoming election does not take place in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. And that’s why Labour has restrained itself to make sure that we’re able to have a peaceful transition.”
Wabba called for swift intervention to address the situation, lamenting that those living in cities such as Abuja, are now forced to send money from their limited funds, to friends and relations in the villages.