A meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) took place on Thursday, 30th June 2022 at the Oyerinde Olaitan Auditorium, Labour House, NLC National Headquarters, Abuja. The NEC comprises all Presidents, General Secretaries, Treasurers of all NLC’s affiliate unions; State Chairpersons and Secretaries of the NLC State Councils, Chairperson of the NLC Youth Committee and members of the National Administrative Council (NAC).

The major issues considered by the National Executive Council during its meeting included the state of the nation particularly the energy crisis, widespread insecurity, hyper-inflation cum continuous devaluation of the Naira; state of the struggle especially the failure by four states to commence the payment of the national minimum wage, the ongoing strike action in all public universities in Nigeria, challenges faced by workers and unions in Abia and Imo States, and the persistent anti-workers disposition of the Rivers State Government; the role of Nigerian workers in promoting and defending democracy especially through the Labour Party, and effective mobilization of workers and citizens to vote in Labour Party candidates in the 2023 general election, and on the global stage – fallouts of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

  1. Energy Crisis:
    The NEC observed as follows:
    a. That despite the fact that Nigeria is a major oil producing country yet has failed to refine her own crude oil. NEC noted that the consequence of this failure is the near total one hundred percent importation of refined petroleum products into Nigeria which consequence is the heavy hemorrhage of our national coffers especially given that most of our foreign exchange revenue go into the importation of refined petroleum products;

b. That at the root of the protracted crisis in Nigeria’s downstream petroleum industry is the failure of government to rehabilitate Nigeria’s refineries despite several promises to fix this malignant sore in the throat of Nigeria’s socio-economic development; and

c. The NEC noted the severe dislocations in the national economy and social order and also excruciating suffering unleashed on workers and citizens as a result of the continued neglect of the country’s public refineries. Some of these dislocations include the high cost of the deregulated and non-deregulated refined petroleum products, acute shortages and disruption in the supply chain of refined petroleum products especially Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Diesel, Kerosene and Aviation Fuel and the subjection of citizens in Nigeria’s major cities especially Abuja to long queues for extended hours, proliferation of petrol black markets and sale of PMS above the regulated price of N165 per liter in many states, increase in the cost of essential goods and services including food stuff, transportation costs, cooking fuel, and personal services.

NEC Resolutions:
a. The NEC calls on government to honour its commitment as contained in collective bargaining agreements with Organized Labour and immediately fix our national refineries as a panacea to the wholesale importation of refined petroleum products and the associated dislocation of same to workers and citizens; and

b. The NEC implores government to invest in renewable energy and promote and provide facilities for the conversion of Diesel vehicles to CNG as cheaper alternatives to fossil fuel and also a way of strengthening and advancing Just Transition initiatives.

  1. Strike in the Education Sub-Sector:
    The NEC observed as follows:
    a. That students in Nigeria’s public universities comprising largely of students from working class and poor families have been on strike for nearly four months now. Students of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education have also in recent times faced the same challenge;

b. That despite the efforts of Congress and trade unions in Nigeria’s university system to resolve this crisis including the convening of high-powered meetings of stakeholders, the government has failed to address this issue with the seriousness it deserves; and

c. That instead of investing the required commitment to resolve the lingering industrial crisis in Nigeria’s universities and other tertiary education institutions, government is exacerbating the situation by the recent declaration of “no work – no pay” policy resulting in the stoppage of the salaries of the striking university workers.

NEC Resolutions:
a. The NEC condemns the laissez-faire attitude of government to the lingering industrial action in Nigeria’s Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and Research Institutions especially the recent activation of “no work–no pay” policy on striking university workers. The NEC described the stoppage of salaries of striking university workers as draconian especially since government is responsible for the strike action by its failure to honour a legally valid collective bargaining agreement. Consequently, the unions have also deployed “no pay–no work” policy; and

b. The NEC went on to resolve to organize a one-day solidarity action in support of Congress affiliates in the Education sector.

  1. Harsh Industrial Climate in Abia and Imo States
    The NEC noted as follows:
    a. The continued subjecting of Abia and Imo State workers to excruciating working conditions including refusal to pay the national minimum wage, failure to honour collective bargaining agreements, owing workers up to 18 months of salary arrears, backlog of unpaid pension benefits, refusal to carry out periodic promotion for deserving workers, stifling of payment of several legitimate annual increment to workers in Abia and Imo States;

NEC Resolutions:
a. Upon the recommendation of the Central Working Committee (CWC), the NEC resolved to intervene to address the toxic industrial climate in Abia and Imo States by sending a strong delegation of the leadership of the Congress led by the NLC President to interface with Abia and Imo State Governments; and

b. The NEC while commending the leadership of the Rivers State Council of the NLC for resisting the attempt to undermine workers representation in the state and the defense of workers’ rights, called on the Rivers State Government to withdraw the security siege on the NLC Rivers State Secretariat immediately and settle all arears of salaries, annual increment, promotion, and unpaid gratuity and pension benefits as the state is financially endowed.

  1. Minimum Wage
    The NEC noted as follows:
    a. That four states are yet to commence implementation of the national minimum wage. The states in violation are Taraba, Zamfara, Abia and Cross River States; and

b. The failure by the affected states to commence the payment of the national minimum wage is a criminal breach of Nigeria’s laws and is totally unacceptable to Organized Labour in Nigeria.

NEC Resolution
All necessary and lawful actions will be deployed by Organized Labour both at the national and state levels to address and redress this severe disrespect and violation of Nigeria’s labour laws.

  1. Funding of the Judiciary
    The NEC observed as follows:
    a. The events surrounding the resignation of the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria especially with regards to serious allegations of deliberate under-funding of the operations of the Supreme Court;

b. That since 2009 there has been no review of the salaries of judicial officers in Nigeria; and

c. Concomitant concerns in the public space on the fate of lower courts and the entire justice delivery ecosystem in Nigeria if the apex court could be starved of the funds to operate and discharge its functions and responsibilities and the windows such a situation opens for judicial compromise and miscarriage of justice.

The NEC resolved:
a. That the Federal Government should take seriously the funding of the judicial system not only at the Federal level but also at the State level taking into consideration recent amendment of Nigeria’s Constitution to provide for financial autonomy for the judiciary both at the national and state levels.

  1. Insecurity and the Protection of Life and Property
    The NEC observed as follows:
    a. The continued upsurge in bloodletting and severe security breaches all over the country including the recent massacre of worshippers at St. Xavier Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State and the kidnap of farming families in communities at the border between Niger State and the Federal Capital territory and also continuous armed robbery and kidnap attacks in many states of the federation including within urban centers in the FCT; and
    b. The NEC noted that there is a link between the upsurge in insecurity and the deteriorating socio-economic indices in the country particularly unemployment, deepening poverty, expanding divide between the few rich and many poor, and the continued poor oversight of funds allocated to security agencies.

NEC Resolution

  • Calls on government to ensure the release of all those still held in captivity all over the country including those kidnapped from the scene of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack, kidnapped students, and other kidnap victims including workers and other citizens.
  1. Inflation and High Cost of Living and Imperative of Living Wage
    The NEC observed as follows:
    a. The unbearable level of inflation in the country and the attendant high cost of living this trend has imposed on Nigerian workers and the generality of citizens; and
    b. The huge deficits and near absence of social protection measures for citizens and workers to cushion the impact of the galloping inflation in the country. The NEC expressed serious concern of the double jeopardy of high inflation rate, devaluation of the national currency and failure to review wages since 2009.
    NEC Resolutions:
    a. That government should pursue policies that can immediately arrest the galloping inflationary rate. A key policy alternative is to stop the hemorrhage in the downstream petroleum sub-sector, and transfer of the costs volatility in global commodities market to end users of refined petroleum products in Nigeria, all informed by mass importation of refined petroleum products into Nigeria;

b. The government should bolster social protection mechanisms in an institutionalized and transparent manner; and

c. Demand for general wage review since the last one was in 2009.


  1. Sack of 2,357 Primary School Teachers by the Kaduna State Government
    The NEC observed as follows:

a. The clear disregard to judicial process by the Kaduna State Government in its decision to sack 2,357 primary school teachers despite an ongoing legal action for the stoppage of the so-called Competency Test which was premise for the teachers’ sack;
b. The sacked primary school teachers did not participate in the Competency Test because their union – the National Union of Teachers – had challenged the matter in court and had sought for a restraining court order against the conduct of the so-called Competency Test by the Kaduna State Government; and
c. The fact that the primary school teachers were not sacked for incompetence as widely reported rather as a result of the neoliberal policy of the Kaduna State Government to casualize the state public workforce and divert funds meant for human capital development to service the greed of contractors and consultants.

NEC Resolutions:
a. That the recent sack of 2357 primary school teachers by the Kaduna State Government is highly condemnable and is therefore unacceptable to Organized Labour and Nigerian workers;
b. To continue to resist the ultra-right neoliberal policies of the Kaduna State government especially the illegal policy of subtly casualizing the state public workforce;
c. Called for the immediate reversal of the sack of 2357 primary school teachers in tandem with the rule of law and respect of court processes since the case is before a competent court of law and the fact that teaching is a profession which is supervised only by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN); and
d. Called for Social Dialogue between Organized Labour and Kaduna State Government to resolve current crises and preceding ones.

  1. The Labour Party and the Countdown to 2023 General Election

The NEC noted as follows:
a. The current excitement by Nigerians from all walks of life to participate in the 2023 general election expressed by the commitment to register and collects Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs);
b. The difficulties being experienced by eligible voters in registering and collecting their PVCs at registration centers across the country;
c. The increasing adoption of the Labour Party and its candidates as the party of choice and candidates to beat by many Nigerians especially workers, youths and women; and
d. That the Nigeria Labour Congress has special interest in Kebbi and Niger States where Dr. Nasir Idris, NLC Deputy President and Niger State Chairperson have emerged as Candidate and running mate of major political parties, respectively.

NEC Resolutions:
a. While commending the commitment by millions of Nigerians to participate in the 2023 polls, NEC urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that all eligible voters willing to vote in the 2023 general election are registered;
b. Pursuant to the foregoing, the NEC called on INEC to expand its reform initiatives by improving its logistics capabilities especially with regards to provision of adequate voter registration centers. In light of the overwhelming number of voters queueing up to register and collect their PVCs, INEC should deploy voter registration centers in all polling units across the country. If funding is a challenge, INEC should ask for more funds through an executive supplementary budget;
c. Furthermore, the NEC calls on INEC to investigate reports of the deployment of voter registration centers in private premises and very worrisome claims that people actually pay for the deployment of such sensitive INEC facilities at their personal convenience. The NEC notes that such conducts pose huge risk to the integrity perception in the countdown to the 2023 general polls and could pose a major obstacle to positive public confidence coefficient in the countdown to the 2023 general polls;
d. The NEC also called on INEC and security agencies to investigate reports of harassment and physical attacks on voters who showed up at some voter registration centers. NEC urges INEC and security agencies to be wary of such voter arm-twisting tactics and deploy measures to rein in such dangerous and criminal behaviors;
e. In line with earlier organ decisions, the NEC called on the state structures of the NLC to activate their local government political committees to sensitize workers and the general populace on the need to vote in Labour Party candidates across all elective positions in the 2023 general election; and
f. The NLC will organize a mega rally in Kebbi State in support of its Deputy President, Dr. Nasir Idris, who has emerged as a governorship candidate in Kebbi State and will also support its Chairperson in Niger State in order to ensure victory at the polls.

  1. Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

The NEC observed as follows:
The global impact of the ongoing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine especially with regards to hike in the price of commodities and disruption in the global supply chain. The ensuing hyper-inflation has eroded the real value of wages for workers across different countries and continents.
The NEC Resolved:

To reiterate the condemnation of the leadership of the Congress of the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, mni
President General Secretary