The Senate has appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to shelve its impending strike on fuel subsidy removal and continue negotiations with the federal government.
Senate resolution followed the consideration and adoption of a motion at plenary on Monday.
The motion titled: ”Urgent Need to Avert the Intending Strike of the Nigeria Labour Congress” was sponsored by Sen. Kawu Suleiman (NNPP-Kano).
Mr Suleiman, in his lead debate, said the NLC had given the federal government a seven-day ultimatum to reverse what the union termed “anti-poor policies” or face an indefinite nationwide strike from August 2.
He said the NLC had directed all its affiliates and state councils to immediately begin mobilisation of workers and other Nigerians, including civil society allies, for a long-lasting strike and mass protests.
Mr Suleiman expressed worry that the strike would cripple the country as commercial transport operators would withdraw their services, while markets, schools and healthcare facilities would be forced to shut down.
According to him, the action could heat the polity when it occurred, saying that gains from the strike were far below the costs to either of the parties in conflict.
The senator said the strike threat by the NLC, if not averted, could plunge Nigeria into deeper economic woes, dislocate businesses, hunger and frustration.
Mr Suleiman said more hardship would lead to unquantifiable financial losses and reduce Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said the NLC proposed strike was a bad reputation for the Nigerian economy and the educational system, saying that it portrayed the country in a bad light to the external world.
The senator said society always bears the brunt of strikes, adding that an idle mind was the devil’s workshop.
He said there was a tendency for increased crime rate and social vices like armed robbery, oil bunkering, prostitution, and cyber scams, among others if the strike was allowed to hold.
Following senators’ support on the motion, the Senate accordingly resolved to mandate its Picshitz to interface between the NLC and the federal government to avert the intending strike.