NLC Strike Cripples Essential Services in Bauchi, Kano

The ongoing nationwide industrial action declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has crippled activities in government institutions and some private organisations in Bauchi and Kano states.

WikkiTimes correspondents; Aminu Adamu, Adamu Yawale, Babaji Usman and Idris Kamal report that the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) embarked on a nationwide strike on Monday, demanding better remuneration and urging the federal government to address other policies making life harder for Nigerians.

President Bola Tinubu set up a 37-man tripartite committee on national minimum wage earlier in January to come up with what he dubbed a “living wage” for Nigerian workers.

The current minimum wage in the country is N30,000, which was to elapse in March this year.

WikkiTimes understands that the strike action is in response to the failure to reach an agreement for a new minimum wage between the trio of the federal government, Organised Private Sector (OPS) and the labour unions.

NLC Protests in Kano, Berates Tinubu over Hardship in Country

The government and OPS offered to pay N60,000, but the labour unions rejected it and insisted on a N415,000 monthly as the minimum wage.

Shutdown of government institutions and other services in Bauchi

In Bauchi State, WikkiTimes has observed that the strike has significantly disrupted government businesses and commercial institutions including banks. 

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The striking union members also shut down the Abubakar Umar State Secretariat and the Federal Secretariat in the northeastern state.

Federal Secretariat, Bauchi State.

Some commercial banks such as First Bank Nigeria Plc, Polaris and Sterling in the Bauchi metropolis were closed when our reporter visited this morning. The situation has left customers stranded except those who came to withdraw cash from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

Some banks such as Ja’iz and Sky, and Crest High School, a popular private school in Bauchi defied the strike action.

First Bank, Bauchi State.

At the ever-busy Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), doctors, laboratory and pharmaceutical staff also joined the strike, leaving nurses to offer essential services. 

However, business and commercial activities continued unhindered in most parts of the city. The popular Wunti and Central markets remained bustling with business activities.

The acting NLC Chairman in Bauchi State, Ibrahim Mai Kudi said there is total compliance with the strike directive in the state. 

He said a few government agencies outside the state secretariat shunned the strike, arguing that they were not notified.

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The chairman, however, attributed the delay in delivering strike notification memos to relevant government and private agencies to the late disbursement of the letters. 

“However, as I speak to you now, every agency has complied with the strike,” he said. 

Like Bauchi, Like Kano

The strike has grounded certain services in Kano, the commercial hub of northern Nigeria.

Workers in higher institutions such as Bayero University Kano, Federal College of Education and other establishments including banks, and federal and state secretariats complied with the official directive to stay away from their places of work. 

Public primary and secondary schools also complied with the instruction.

Government hospitals recorded partial compliance, our correspondent observed. 

Health workers in the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital and many other primary healthcare facilities partially complied with the industrial action.

WikkiTimes observed that some workers showed up for their daily work at AKTH. 

Although the workers declined to grant interviews with the press, leadership of the unions in AKTH told WikkiTimes that the notice arrived late for it to be effective immediately.

The Chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), AKTH Chapter, Bashir Ali Ado, said the strike notice arrived Monday morning.

“The directive to join this nationwide indefinite strike came to us late,” he said. “We were notified officially this morning. And on receiving this letter, we communicated to the hospital’s management. As I speak, most of our members are on strike. The level of compliance is good but will be fully implemented maybe later in the day or tomorrow morning.

NLC Protests in Kano, Berates Tinubu over Hardship in Country

“We hope to have an amicable resolution but the FG refused to address this issue. It is the last resort.”

On his part, the Secretary of  Joint Health Sector Unions in AKTH, Abdurrahman Aminu, said a few staff were working to close the bill for patients to avoid loss for the hospital.

“You know the hospital runs on diesel. So, there is compliance but not 100%. It is about 70%. You can see people are closing their bills because they are being discharged. If they are not asked to close their bills, the hospital will lose,” he said.  

However, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) members have not joined the strike as they are not affiliated with the NLC. Their members could be seen attending to patients in the hospital.

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