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‘It’s economic sabotage’ — Akpabio berates labour for shutting down national grid

Senate President Godswill Akpabio Senate President Godswill Akpabio
Godswill Akpabio

Senate President Godswill Akpabio says the decision of organised labour to shut down the national grid is economic sabotage.

Akpabio spoke on Tuesday on the floor of the senate after a motion sponsored by Diket Plang, senator representing Plateau central, on the indefinite strike by the labour.

On Monday, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike over the government’s failure to fix a new minimum wage for workers.

The federal government had initially proposed a minimum wage of N48,000, N54,000, and N60,000 — but labour has insisted on N615,500 and then N494,000.

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The strike action paralysed government and economic activities across the country, leading to the shutting down of the national grid.

But Labor on Tuesday relaxed the strike to pave the way for further negotiations with the federal government.

The senate president said the disruption of the ongoing West African School Certificate Examination (WAEC) by the strike “was bad”.

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“One of such excesses was the shutdown of the national grid, which is more of an economic sabotage than agitation for a new minimum wage,” Akpabio said.

“The disruption of hajj flights by some other labour unionists as said by the deputy president of the senate, is also not palatable as a religious exercise.

“Disruption or prevention of students from writing their West African School Certificate Examination by some labour unionists during the strike was bad because the examination is not organised by Nigeria but by West African countries.”

The senate president commended labour for calling off the strike to allow for negotiations.

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“On our part, we will continue to do our best by making contributions and, at the same time, awaiting the incoming bill on minimum wage for us to enact for the benefit of all Nigerians,” he said.

The motion, which was adopted after it was put to a voice vote, called on the federal government to expedite negotiations to end the strike.

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