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Why We Suspended Planned Protest, Strike Over Naira Scarcity —Nigeria Labour Congress

March 29, 2023

The union claimed that Naira notes have begun to circulate, alleviating the hardships that Nigerians have been experiencing as a result of the cash crunch.


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has explained why the union suspended its planned protest and strike action over the cash crunch created by the Naira Swap Policy implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This was stated in a statement released by the union president, Comrade Joe Ajaero, explaining that the reason for the suspension was because of drastic improvement in the situation.

The union claimed that Naira notes have begun to circulate, alleviating the hardships that Nigerians have been experiencing as a result of the cash crunch.

The statement reads in part: “The NLC had since then held two sessions of its NEC to discuss the issues and review the level of compliance with our demands by the CBN to make cash available to Nigerians wherever they may be located in the country.

“In our meeting yesterday, Tuesday the 28th day March, 2023 NEC received live reports from all the states of the federation and local governments on the cash situation in their respective locations.

“On the weight of the reports received, NEC made the following observations:  that the CBN has made significant efforts to curb the current cash scarcity in the country thus to some extent complied with the demands of NEC.

“That many banks have embarked on the Weekend Banking as agreed though some bank branches remained shut to the public.

“That availability of cash has noticeably improved in the major urban centres in Nigeria.

“That however in rural communities and towns, cash scarcity seemingly persists to some degrees.

“That banks have however continued to ration access to cash thus limiting financial transactions.

“That it does appear that normalcy has not completely been restored as long queues are still visible to allow cash flow seamlessly as before the unfortunate policy.

“As a function of the reports received, and in collaboration with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) which also had their NEC to discuss the same issues; we resolved as follows: to suspend the proposed nationwide strike planned for today, Wednesday the 29th of March, 2023 since there is significant improvement in the availability of cash across the nation.

“That meanwhile, the CBN should ensure that total normalcy is restored to cash availability within the nation in the next two weeks.

“That NLC will embark on nationwide strike without warning if the cash situation degenerates instead of returning to normalcy.

“Finally, we set up a Joint Committee at the National and State Levels to monitor and ensure sustainable compliance by the CBN towards ending the Cash crunch and removing the siege on Nigerians.

“These were some of the bases upon which our decisions rested and follow-up action to ensure that CBN remains compliant and not renege on the agreed path towards the restoration of normalcy in the cash situation.

“We want to assure Nigerians that though there are other critical issues confronting us as a people, we are continuously committed to making sure that we roll back all anti-workers and peoples policies of the government.

“Once again we call for the continued support of all Nigerians to ensure that we rescue ourselves from actions that are designed to emasculate us both as workers and as a people. It is only by working together that we can guarantee our collective safety and interests as a people.”