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NLC issues fresh Ultimatum to CBN over Naira Scarcity


NLC Issues Fresh Ultimatum To CBN Over Naira Scarcity, Vows to embark on Nationwide strike in 2 weeks


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened a nationwide demonstration in two weeks if the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) fails to find a permanent solution to cash shortage.


Joe Ajaero, president of the NLC, and Festus Osifo, president of the TUC, issued the warning at a joint press conference held at Labour House at the conclusion of their National Executive Council meeting on Tuesday.


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Read Also: NLC Postpones Proposed Strike, see details


The congress announced last week that it would begin an indefinite strike and picket all Central Bank of Nigeria branches across the country.


In an effort to avert the impending crisis, however, the head of the central bank, Godwin Emefiele, urged the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, to persuade the labour leaders.


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Ajaero, however, stated that after receiving briefings from its state councils in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, the NLC decided to defer the picketing directive issued last week to workers.


According to reports from its state councils, the cash shortage was easing.


The labour leader told reporters that the NLC would resume the planned demonstration if Nigerians were unable to obtain naira notes by the end of the two-week period.


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According to him, committees had been established at both the national and state levels to monitor the situation in the banks and provide a report at the conclusion of the two-week deadline.


He stated, “Yes, there has been compliance, but the NLC’s NEC meeting cast doubt on the compliance’s viability.


“We must monitor this compliance for the next two weeks to determine if it is sustainable, as they rushed to transfer funds to commercial banks, and some of them are now running dry.” It would be extremely naive for Congress to abruptly cancel the action.


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“We will want to loosen up for an additional two weeks with committees established at the national level and in all the federated states to coordinate compliance. There were some banks that were closed on weekends. We recommend that the CBN assume the role of regulator. They can impose sanctions on banks that do not comply.


“On the first and second day, the CBN stated that the money they were pushing weekly was now being pushed daily. I am unaware if they continue to promote it daily. They have restricted the banking industry. So many Nigerians have suffered. Even those who withdrew N10,000 are hesitant to spend it in the event that the scarcity returns.


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“The NLC and TUC have decided to let tomorrow pass without a strike or picketing, but will monitor the next two weeks.”


“Two weeks from today, the NEC of the two Labour centres will reconvene and determine if the CBN has actually complied and if their compliance is sufficient to drive the economy.”


On his part, the president of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) guaranteed that Labour would continue to protect the interests of workers and Nigerians.


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Osifo stated that the two Labour centres would continue to urge banks to make naira notes accessible to Nigerians for an additional two weeks.


He stated, “We’ve decided to continue this push for another two weeks. Various state reports indicated a degree of compliance, although some banks remained closed on weekends.


“We urge the CBN to continue this action because the amount of money Nigerians need now would be even greater if this panic had not occurred, as the average Nigerian will withdraw funds and spend them gradually.


Because confidence in the system has been eroded, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) must inject more money into the economy.


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