National strike records compliance in Kano, Kwara, Kogi, Enugu

Tunde Akanbi in Ilorin; Acheme Jack in Kano; Chukwumerije Aja in Enugu; and Ishaq Dan Imam in Lokoja

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Government offices under lock and key in Ilorin, Kwara state

The nationwide strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, to press for a new national minimum wage, has been adhered to in Kano, Enugu, Kogi and Kwara states.

Most schools and government offices in the ancient city of Kano as well as banks visited, remained shut, in compliance with the directive the NLC headquarters.

Students of the Ado Bayero University, Kano, who were billed to continue with their exams on Thursday morning, were asked to stay away and await further directives as the Academic Staff Union and the Senior Staff Union of Nigeria Universities were going for a meeting.

The Federal Secretariat, located along Katsina road, which houses most Federal civil servants in the north western city, was a ghost of itself, as the ever busy place was in silence.

Only security operatives of the Civil Defence Corp were seen manning the gates with very few senior staff in the offices. Green leaves were pinned to the gates to show solidarity for the strike.

At the premises of Audu Bako state secretariat, which hosts magistrates and high courts in the state, as well as the State House of Assembly, only security men and a few top civil servants were spotted.

Barrister Mohammed Lawal who came to the state high court for a sitting, said he and other of his colleagues “could not gain access to the court premises because of the strike.”

However, activities at the hospitals were functioning at more than fifty percent as doctors were seen attending to in and out patients and the pharmacists dispensing drugs.

The Head of Service, Kano state Muhammad Na’iya said “the state government had made special arraignments for such essential services like medicals, water and some institutions of learning to function because they are critical.”

He appealed to the labour unions and the government, to come to a compromise as the nation was losing a lot from the shutdown.

Markets, shops, commercial vehicles and filling stations were seen performing optimal services to the people.

Most out of school children because of the strike were spotted having a field day, playing football in the open.

The Kano state NLC Chairman, Ado Minjibir, said the strike had so far, received a high percentage of compliance, as most places visited were under lock and key.

“The compliance is an indication that the struggle for salary increase is a genuine one, because when the purchasing power of the worker is increased, the market receives more customers.

“The manufacturers employ more as they are set to produce more for the consumers. This thing is not about workers alone,” stressed the Kano NLC boss.

Kwara  

The nationwide strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, was effective in Kwara state.

Workers milling around in the capital

VON gathered that the strike action appeared total in both state and federal government offices and parastatals, just as the offices were also locked at the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) in the capital, Ilorin.

Staff of the state and Federal High Court, ministries, the state radio and TV stations were not present at work, while Government House was also locked in the earlier part of the morning.

At the state broadcasting corporation, Radio Kwara, some management staff were seen on duty operating skeletal services.

Also, school pupils were sent home from their various public schools, as teachers also joined in the strike. 

Some commercial banks were open for business against expectations, and directives that all banks would not open to customers.

Investigations carried out showed that banks might not attend fully to customers from Friday, the second day of the strike.

Enugu  

In Enugu state, south eastern Nigeria, banks, ministries and parastatals of federal government in eastern Nigeria, did not open for normal business

However, pupils of government and private schools in Enugu state were seen going to school despite the strike action.

Labour union officials were see moving around, picketing offices to ensure compliance.

Kogi

In Kogi State, Central Nigeria, in the capital, Lokoja, there was strict compliance to the national strike.

Federal, state and local government ministries as well as agencies in the state shut down. Government activities at all tiers were ground to a halt.

Electricity workers in the state also joined the strike. It affected electricity supply and other essential services to residents and public establishments in the state, resulting in a slowdown of commercial activities in the state.

Medical services at public health facilities have been disrupted as primary and tertiary health facilities in the state are under lock and key with resultant effects on patients.

Some patients who spoke to Voice of Nigeria in Lokoja, called on the federal government and organized labour, to make urgent concessions that will lead to an immediate resolution of the dispute, in the interest of Nigerians and the nation’s  economy.

However, commercial banks in the state opened for business, as normal bank transactions were being carried out in spite of the industrial action.