Naira Scarcity: NLC declares nationwide strike, to shut down CBN offices nationwide


By Michael OChe

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said beginning from next Wednesday; it will shut down all Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) offices nationwide for failure of the apex bank to make cash available to Nigerians.

NLC president, Comrade Joe Ajaero who stated this on Wednesday while briefing journalists in Abuja said the failure of the CBN to make naira notes available has caused untold hardship to workers and Nigerians in general.

He said the Congress has commenced mobilization of workers across the country and will ensure that all CBN offices nationwide are picketed till further notice.

The NLC president also said workers will be directed to stay at home beginning from Wednesday until they are able to access naira notes

He said, “Last week at the end of our Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting, we gave a one week ultimatum for the federal government to address immediately, among other issues, the issue of cash crunch that was caused by the policy. As of this morning when the CWC met again to review the situation, we discovered that not much improvement has been made.

“The situation is still almost the same. People are still buying our currency with our currencies. People can no longer assess the currency and the government seems to be very adamant on this. No moves have been made to reduce the suffering of Nigerians.

“Consequently, the CWC-in-session resolved to go into the process of actualizing the one week notice. From Friday, there will be mobilisation of all state councils through a NEC meeting. All unions have already been directed to mobilise all their organs and their branches. By Wednesday, next week, all Central Bank of Nigeria offices nationwide will be picketed.

“All central banks offices, from the CBN headquarters will be shut till further notice. Workers are directed to stay at home and join in the picketing exercise.”

He explained that the Congress would not allow the political situation in the country to stop it from fighting for the interest of workers and Nigerians in general.

He said, “We call on Nigerians to understand the circumstances we’re operating in. People will be telling you about the political situation. The political situation is self-inflicted and the economic situation is worse than the political situation because people cannot eat.

“Workers can no longer go to the office and nothing is happening. So we have been pushed to the wall having given one week and we thought they could address the situation which is not addressed.

“We have decided to take our destiny in our hands. So comrades, the mobilisation commences immediately and when we talk of action from Wednesday, it is total until further notice”, he said.

Ajaero noted that even when the CBN claimed it has given directive to commercial banks to dispense both old and new naira notes,Nigerian are yet to assess the currency.

He said for Nigerians, the most important thing is for such a directive from the CBN to translate to cash in their pockets.