In his national Sallah address President Tinubu called on the people of Nigeria to make sacrifices in the hope that things would improve in future. The sacrifices are certainly huge and varied. Together they must amount to one of the largest attacks that working people have ever suffered.

The price of petrol is now three times higher than it was earlier this year. This price increase and the massive devaluation by 70% in the official rate of exchange of the naira to the dollar, mean that inflation, already well over 20%, has increased massively. The price of transport and the cost of many goods in the market have doubled in a matter of weeks. We are also threatened with a possible 40% increase in the price of electricity and further hikes in tuition fees after the scam of the Students Loan Act was introduced.

Unfortunately the NLC suspended its general strike. It is now sitting in committee meetings with the Government. It merely promises that they will report within the next two months. Committee reports cannot be used to buy garri. How are we, the pool majority, expected to buy food and other essentials over the coming months?

We need a united campaign against anti-people attacks. We need a mass campaign that unites both those trade unions that are prepared to lead action and those progressive civil society organisations that have the ability to organise at the grass-roots. We need to organise the widest possible opposition to the attacks on our lives by this government. We need the various campaigns to co-operate and work together.

Unfortunately we are not winning the race

We have to encourage and provide national solidarity for any local actions. This may include action in Kano over the retrenchment of 10,000 local government  workers or action by Oyo NLC in demanding palliatives including significant increments in allowances for all workers. A significant increase in the minimum wage would benefit all public sector workers who would in turn be able to spend more on transport and in the markets. This would benefit the informal sector and not be subject to the huge leakages that most social payments suffer from. The minimum wage should also be indexed to inflation with annual increments as happens in most countries.

Some state, like Edo and Kwara, have recognised that their workers can no longer afford the increased travel costs involved in working every day. So they have said that the workers only need to come to work for three days each week. In many other offices across the country similar arrangements have been made informally. As a result, workers only have to travel to work three days a week. The workers have arranged to stand in for each other to make this possible.

We all have the power to make a difference. We all know local trade union officials or members of civil society organisations. We all need to talk to such people about the necessity to organise a mass campaign against the Government’s anti-people policies. 

United we stand – together we can win!

To join the United Campaign Against Anti-People Policies send a WhatsApp message to:  0907 631 1844


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here