Government workers strike over Nigeria’s soaring inflation and economic woes

27 February 2024, 16:24

Union members protesting in Lagos
Government workers strike in Nigeria. Picture: PA

Inflation approached almost 30% last month – the highest in the country for three decades.

Nigeria’s government employees and other union workers began a new nationwide strike on Tuesday that threatened to shut down key services while people are angry about soaring inflation and growing economic pain.

Since assuming office in Africa’s most populous country last year, President Bola Tinubu has enacted policies that include doing away with fuel subsidies and unifying the country’s multiple exchange rates, leading to a devaluation of the naira against the dollar.

Petrol prices have more than doubled and inflation has shot up as a result, reaching close to 30% last month, the highest in nearly three decades, according to the national bureau of statistics.

“We are hungry. There is nobody that doesn’t know this,” said Joe Ajaero, president of the Nigerian labour congress.

Nigeria Labor Protest
Striking workers on the march in Lagos, Nigeria (AP PhotoSunday Alamba)

Others said the protest was the only way to get the government’s attention.

“Things are getting out of hand,” said Christian Omeje, a shop owner in the capital, Abuja.

“Prices keep soaring, the aid the government said it would dole out has not been provided.”

This is just the latest strike action.

In October, government labour unions reached a deal with the government to end strikes in return for monthly stipends and subsidies to cushion the blow of the new policies. Still, the unrest continued.

Unions say the government has failed to deliver on promises that included a monthly wage increase of approximately 20 Us dollars (£15.77) for all workers for six months and payments of approximately 15 dollars (£11.82) for three months to millions of vulnerable households.

A pledge to roll out gas-powered buses for mass transit last year also failed to materialise.

Most services appeared to continue on Tuesday with a reduced workforce.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Pro-Ukraine activists outside the Capitol in Washington

Ukrainian and Western leaders hail US aid as Kremlin warns of ‘further ruin’

People protest in Tel Aviv against Benjamin Netanyahu's government

Israeli strikes on southern Gaza city of Rafah kill 18, mostly children

A woman casts her vote at a polling station in Male

Voting begins for Maldives Parliament, as India and China vie for influence

Flowers left inside the Westfield shopping centre in Bondi Junction, Sydney, where the stabbing took place

Nine-month-old baby hurt in Sydney mall stabbing out of hospital, health authorities say

The two children were pronounced dead at the scene

Siblings, 8, and 5, killed and 15 others injured after suspected drunk driver smashes into children's birthday party

An SH-60K helicopter

One dead, seven missing after two Japanese navy helicopters crash in Pacific

Ecuador Security Referendum

Ecuadorians head to polls to toughen fight against gangs behind wave of violence

Birthday Party Crash

Two children dead and 15 injured after truck crashes into child’s birthday party

United States Ukraine Weapons Explainer

US lawmakers approve multibillion-dollar aid package for Ukraine and Israel

Congress TikTok

US lawmakers pass legislation to ban TikTok within a year

Mideast Tensions Satellite

Iranian attack damaged taxiway at Israeli air base, satellite image shows

China Kite Festival Photo Gallery

In Pictures: Colourful creations fill sky at Chinese kite festival

People pass by a damaged electric pole caused by flooding due to heavy rains in Pakistan

Pakistani province issues flood alert and warns of heavy loss of life

Russian rockets are launched against Ukraine from Russia’s Belgorod region

Ukrainian drones targeting Russian power stations shot down, says Moscow

Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson

US House of Representatives on brink of approving aid for Ukraine and Israel

Nigeria Chess Education

Nigerian chess champion plays game for 60 hours in new global record bid