ABUJA, Nigeria — Unions representing Nigeria's government workers have announced they will go on strike starting next week to demand pay raises and to protest the austerity measures of the West African nation's newly elected government.
The Nigeria Labor Congress and the Trade Union Congress, which represent hundreds of thousands of government workers across key sectors, said they would stop work for an indefinite period starting next Tuesday in their third strike in less than two months.
The strike call adds pressure on Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, whose policies aimed at fixing Africa’s largest economy have added to the cost of living for more than 210 million people who already were grappling with surging inflation whose rate was at an 18-year high of 25.8% in August.
After he ended the yearslong subsidies for fuel on his first day in office, the price of petrol more than doubled, resulting in a similar hike in the price of other commodities. The government’s devaluation of the currency further increased the prices of various commodities, including food.
Although Tinubu has announced several intervention efforts to cushion the effects of his policies, the labor unions say he has not acted fast to implement those policies. They also are demanding an increase in their salaries.
Joe Ajaero, president of Nigeria Labor Congress, said in a statement that weeks of talks with federal authorities have failed to yield any measures to ease what he called “massive suffering” due to price hikes. The government inaction is leaving workers in “excrutiating poverty and affliction,” he said.