Naira Scarcity: NLC, TUC suspend proposed actions against CBN

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) yesterday announced suspension of their planned strike over scarcity of naira notes for two weeks.

Recall that the NLC had last Wednesday issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to find solutions to the problem of naira scarcity in the country cause by its naira redesign and cashless policy.

The Labour union had threatened to order workers to picket CBN branches nationwide if the problem of cash scarcity persists at the end of the deadline. It also ordered workers to stay at home if the cash crunch failed to ease off.

However, the apex bank had over the weekend flooded banks with old N500 and N1, 000 notes in obvious response to the threat by the NLC. It also ordered commercial banks to operate on Saturday and Sunday to ensure that the cash circulates among the people.

To also avert the proposed action by Labour, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, met with officials of the CBN, led by its Governor, Godwin Emefiele and Joe Ajaero, the president of NLC on Monday.

Ajaero told newsmen in Abuja, on Tuesday, that reports from its State councils in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) indicate that workers are now having access to cash, and therefore, the planned ‘stay-at-home’ directive will be suspended

According to him, “The NLC and TUC have decided to allow tomorrow (today) pass without any shutdown or picketing but to watch the next two weeks. After two weeks from today (Tuesday), the NEC of the two Labour centres will meet again and decide whether the CBN has actually complied and whether their compliance is sustainable to drive the economy”.

He, however, noted that queues were beginning to resurface in some banks, with threats that NLC would resume the planned protest if naira notes become scarce again by the end of the two weeks.

He said committees have been set up at the national and State levels to monitor situations in banks and report to NLC at the end of the two week extension.

Also, the President of TUC, Festus Osifo, assured that the two Labour centres would sustain the push for banks to make naira notes available to Nigerians for another two weeks.

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