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NLC Strike May Not Happen As CBN Opens Vault To Banks

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BDC Operators In Lagos Record Boom, Experience Low Sale In Abuja, Kano

There are high hopes that the planned strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) may not happen again as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) opened its vaults to commercial banks to circulate banknotes.

Naija News reports that there has been untold hardship for the citizens for many weeks since the CBN redesigned the country’s banknotes and introduced a new cash swap policy.

Due to the development, the NLC had planned to embark on an industrial action on Wednesday to protest the naira scarcity in Nigeria.

Reports, however, revealed that the cash crunch is beginning to ease as residents of Lagos, Enugu, Kano and Port Harcourt smiled home last weekend as they could withdraw from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and banking halls.

The Guardian suggests that gradual easing of the naira scarcity could force the NLC to shelve its planned strike.

Naija News understands that the NLC National Executive Council (NEC) will meet on Tuesday (tomorrow) to reassess and review cash availability across the nation and finalise its strategies.

Speaking with journalists on Sunday, the President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, explained that the labour group NEC would meet on Tuesday to review the situation and compliance by banks to alleviate the sufferings Nigerians are currently going through over the naira scarcity.

He said that if the compliance level across the country is high to the extent that Nigerians can easily access their money, the NLC might suspend the nationwide strike.

A source privy to a meeting between NLC and the CBN told the publication that the apex bank said it had disbursed N20 billion to banks nationwide, adding that banks in Lagos got N4 billion, while Abuja branches received N2 billion.

According to the source, the CBN promised to continue disbursing more money to the banks to address the scarcity caused by its naira redesign policy.

“We are not going to rely on what they told us that they are pushing; we all go to banks. The Director of Operations of CBN came to meet with us. They said that based on our complaints and ultimatum, they have redoubled efforts. We told them they needed to redouble their efforts to stave off our action. If they pump money consistently, then there would be no need for our actions. The Ministry of Labour will also meet with us on Monday,” the source told journalists on Sunday.

NLC Strike Action Will Drag Nigeria’s Economy Into Deeper Hole

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, has shown displeasure with NLC’s move to embark on strike.

According to him, the planned industrial action by the NLC could further drag the economy into a deeper hole, leading to rapid business closures, job losses and other socio-economic challenges.

In a statement issued during the weekend also, Oyerinde said while NECA affirmed its displeasure emphatically with the government’s slow response in resolving the self-inflicted quagmire, the planned strike, at this time, could be counter-productive.

“It is without a doubt that the cash crunch has affected businesses, individuals and households terribly. Economic experts and analysts have stated that the loss in economic terms could be over N20 trillion as a result of loss of productive hours in bank halls and petrol stations, shut-down of businesses due to low patronage, the inability of employees to transit to work, challenges faced by households in meeting basic needs and the general distortion in the general supply chain,” he said.

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