Tension is growing as the organized labour unions are threatening to shut-down the country over the new fuel price of petrol.
Reacting to this, the Catholic Church in Nigeria called on the labour to have a rethink on their plan to go on strike to avoid throwing the nation into chaos.
Vanguard reports that the director of communication of Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Very Rev. Fr, Patrick Alumuku, urged Nigerians to give the federal government the benefit of the doubt.
Alumuku commented on the current economic meltdown in the country while fielding questions from journalists during a press conference on his 35th priestly anniversary and the public presentation of his autobiography “Candle Wax” in Abuja, on Tuesday, May 17.
Stressing that such difficult economic situation is global especially for the oil producing countries, Alumuku noted that it was a huge challenge for any government in power to contend with.
“This is a critical moment. I have looked at Venezuela. Venezuela is a Latin American country, they depended on oil, and right now as we speak, Venezuelans are queuing up to buy sugar, milks, rice, pampers for children and they ration them.
“That means, we are quiet better off than they, we also heard of the Russia situation, we are hearing about what is happening in Saudi Arabia. So, this economic hardship is global, especially affecting countries that are oil producing nations,” he said.
Alumuku noted that the federal government has huge challenge because of the promises that had been made.
“Payment of workers salary is very important, because if you don’t pay salary, you don’t have moral ground to engage them or ask them to do something. If the figure they are showing us is anything to go by, it means they cannot even pay salary. So, as a government that wants to be responsible will not want that to happen,” he added.
Calling on the labour congress and other organizations to think twice before embarking on a strike, Alumuku said:
“Are we going to throw the country into another chaos or we are going to go on and have salary not paid? Or are we going to allow ourselves to make this sacrifice?
“Already, for the past many months, we have been left buying petrol at about N150, N200, N250 per liters and queuing up as well. I think we have to be able weigh all of these situations that we find ourselves and move forward. We should reflect appropriate before the labour unions embark on their strike.”
Meanwhile, the federal government may have bowed to pressure from the Nigeria Labour Union and has set up a new committee to review the new pump price of petrol and the national minimum wage.
This was resolution after a two-day meeting with the labour leaders which ended on Tuesday, May 17.