Monday, December 4, 2023

Subsidy: Nationwide blackout looms as electricity workers mobilise to join strike

His pronouncement triggered panic across the country as citizens rushed to buy fuel while oil marketers suddenly increased pump price.

• June 4, 2023
AEDC official on electricity pole
AEDC official on electricity pole used to illustrate the story [Photo credit: The Guardian Nigeria]

Nationwide blackout looms as electricity workers have mobilised to join the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) protest strike against the sudden fuel subsidy removal by President Bola Tinubu’s government.

The National Union of Electricity Employees disclosed this in a memo dated June 2, signed by its general secretary, Dominic Igwebike.

“Sequel to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on June 2. 2023 at the Labour house Abuja, over the sudden removal of fuel subsidy which has brought untold hardship to Nigerians as well as increased inflation in the economy, the NLC has directed that the nationwide withdrawal of Services action will commence on Wednesday, June 7, 2023,” the memo reads.

The planned strike will see electricity employees across the country withdraw their services by 12 a.m on Wednesday.

“Please note that withdrawal of Services nationwide commences from 0.00 hours of Wednesday, June 7, 2023,” the memo added.

Former president Muhammadu Buhari regime had planned fuel subsidy removal for June ending, by not making provisions for it in the 2023 budget. However, Mr Tinubu, in his inaugural speech on May 29, said “subsidy is gone”. His pronouncement triggered panic across the country as citizens rushed to buy fuel while oil marketers suddenly increased pump price.

On May 31, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced pump price increment that saw petrol price skyrocket from N195 to over N500 nationwide.

As citizens lament the failure of Mr Tinubu to provide palliatives to cushion the ripple effects of the sudden fuel subsidy removal, the Nigeria Labour Congress announced a nationwide protest scheduled for Wednesday.

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