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Minimum Wage: Don’t Shut Down National Grid, Nigerians Urge NLC

As the standoff between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Federal Government over the proposed minimum wage continues, Nigerian citizens have taken to social media to implore the labour union not to disrupt the national grid during any potential strike action.

On Monday, the NLC rejected the government’s offers of either ₦62,000 or ₦100,000 as the new minimum wage, with Assistant General Secretary Chris Onyeka describing these figures as a “starvation wage.”

“Our position is very clear. We have never considered accepting ₦62,000 or any other wage that we know is below what we know can take Nigerian workers home. We will not negotiate a starvation wage,” Onyeka stated in an interview on Channels Television on Monday.

The NLC has maintained its demand for a ₦250,000 minimum wage, which Onyeka termed “enough concession to the government and the other social partners in this particular situation.”

With the one-week grace period given to the federal government expiring by midnight on Tuesday, 11th of June, 2024, Nigerians have taken to social media to express their concerns about the potential impact of a nationwide strike on the power sector.

“Okay good, do not touch the national grid. Please, I am begging you,” tweeted @TaoFeek182.

Another user, @Ishow_leck, echoed this sentiment, stating, “You guys should do whatever you want to do, but please keep off from the power grid this time. Let’s all sit home and relax peacefully.”

The calls for sparing the national grid stem from the widespread disruption caused by the previous week’s power outage, which left many Nigerians without electricity for extended periods.

“If NLC is going for a strike and National Grid/electricity is going with them, they might start losing the support of the masses. NLC should be smart about this, please. You need the support of the people to be able to pressure those in power,” cautioned @KhadijaGarba19.

Nigerians have also cited the potential impact on essential services, with @Letter_to_Jack appealing, “Do what you have to but keep your hands off the National Grid this time. For the sake of some of us who want to watch Euros and other patriotic citizens who care about people in hospitals who need light in the ICU. Thanks and God bless.”

Meanwhile, @Emmanuelkalu546 said, “Shut down the national grid.”

While @AdeyemiGCFR wrote, “Awesome. Let’s shut down everywhere, firstly, the National Grid!”

Consequently, @Dambatta_1 said, “#62k as salary is an insult to the intelligence of the Nigerian workers. The NLC should resume their relaxed strike immediately. Shut down the National Grid, Airports, Banks, Train Stations, NNPC, CBN and Co. Let them bring the country to a standstill.”

Furthermore, Joseph Umoh, @umohjoe, wrote, ”Very insensitive Government! You never settle with the poor Nigerian people you go increase Chief Justice wages 300%! Please if putting off the National grid will make them listen GO AHEAD! Aluta continua!!”

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