Some members of visitors and staff of the National Assembly were prevented from gaining access to the Assembly Complex on Tuesday, due to the ongoing nationwide strike.
The closure of the complex to non-legislative staff complies with the directive of the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), asking affiliate unions to proceed on a nationwide indefinite strike beginning at midnight on Tuesday.
The unions embarked on the strike to protest the failure of the Federal Government to address issues affecting workers such as the issues of minimum wage, insecurity, corruption, and good government.
Speaking to Punchng, an Executive of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), who declined to speak on the record, said the PASAN was “complying with the directive of the Labour unions to shut everything down”.
The executive added that only a few staff who arrived early at the complex were able to enter the complex.
A visitor, Abubakar, said they arrived at the National Assembly Complex to attend the swearing of Honorable Yahaya Kusada but were prevented from entering the Complex by members of the labour union.
“We got here as early as 8am but the NLC members had already shut the gate. They said nobody could enter as the strike began yesterday. We came for the swearing-in of Rt. Honorable Abubakar Yahaya Kusada from Katsina. But we were not allowed to go in”.
A stranded banker, Mrs Ameh, who works in a bank within the complex, said she didn’t think the strike was necessary as it put a strain on some essential workers.
“As it is, only one staff is at the bank, being the customer care and bank teller at the same time. The protest is fine if it yields results. Right now, it just puts strain on essential workers”, she said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Secretariat was notably less busy than usual as many of the offices, among which are the Ministry offices of Education and Health were closed.
While many of the staff had arrived at their offices to work, some also appreciated the efforts of the unions to demand better conditions for workers.
“It may not be indefinite eventually, but I support the action. Workers are suffering. This isn’t the promised renewed hope, and the government should honestly do better”, a civil servant, Mr Richard said.
Similarly, banks in the area including Zenith, Access and First City Monument Banks, were closed, and only spotted a few customers at the banks’ ATMs.