Prioritise National Development Over Strike, NANS Urges NLC

The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) has urged the Nigeria Labour Congress to shelve its planned strike and focus on prioritising national development.

It appealed to the NLC to shun the path of strike action and explore alternative avenues to resolve disputes with the Federal Government.

The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, had insisted in a statement on Sunday that a protest would be held on Tuesday and Wednesday as planned over the current economic hardship in the country.

On February 16, the NLC announced the nationwide protest scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday over the alleged government’s failure to implement agreements reached between both parties on October 2, 2023, following the removal of fuel subsidy.

The decision followed the expiration of a 14-day ultimatum issued to the Federal Government to implement measures against economic hardship.

But the NANS Senate President, Akinteye Babatunde, in an address on Monday while acknowledging the legitimate grievances of the workers and the need for improved working conditions, expressed concern about the potential repercussions of the protest on academic activities and overall welfare of citizens.

“We are appealing to the NLC to reconsider their decision and prioritise collaboration with the government for the greater good of the nation.

“We believe that dialogue and constructive engagement are essential for addressing grievances and achieving meaningful progress in improving the welfare of workers and citizens alike.

“The looming threat of a strike poses a significant risk of further exacerbating the economic challenges facing the nation and disrupting the lives of ordinary citizens, including students,” he said.

NANS stated that the impact of the strike action on academic activities would be devastating, particularly for students, who were already grappling with various challenges within the educational system, adding “disruptions to academic calendars, examinations, and other educational activities could derail the progress of students and exacerbate the already precarious situation in the education sector.”

Babatunde added that the apex student body was ready to support the NLC in its advocacy efforts in dialogue with the government to address challenges facing its workers.

“We appeal to the NLC to prioritise the national interest above all else and seek common ground with the government to ensure the well-being and prosperity of all Nigerians,” he stated.