Nigerian banks, including the United Bank of Africa (UBA) and Access Bank, among others, have jointly announced their intention to initiate a nationwide strike lasting for two days. They have stated that financial services will be unavailable on September 5 and 6, 2023.
This decision follows a directive issued by the National Union of Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institution Employees, as conveyed in a memorandum dated September 2, 2023, and signed by the union’s General Secretary, Mohammed I. Sheikh.
The memo explicitly referenced the strike notice previously issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress on August 31.
NUBIFIE additionally voiced allegations against the federal government, accusing it of interfering in trade union affairs rather than concentrating on addressing economic challenges.
The notice read; “In line with the communique issued after the meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) held on Thursday, August 31 2023, all affiliates should direct all its members to commence two days’ withdrawal of services from Tuesday & Wednesday the 5th & 6th September 2023.
“The directives is imperative to get the needed attention of government and warn it of its newfound love of meddling in the internal affairs of unions rather than address the punishing economic circumstances in which we find ourselves.
“We hereby direct all our organs to comply with this directive by ensuring all our members stay off duty for two days. Your cooperation in this regard will be appreciated.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in an effort to avert the Nigeria Labour Congress’ warning strike scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, has shown interest in resuming talks with the organised labours.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, made this known in an interview with PUNCH on Saturday, September 2, 2023.
According to him, the government would meet with leaders of the union to avert the looming strike.
He said; “Definitely, we are hoping the warning strike can be averted. They are still engaged in discussions and have started to understand each other’s position more. They will meet again on Monday, but the gaps are being closed.
“You know the new minister just came in and has just begun to engage with the NLC. Going forward, you will see more expeditious engagement with the labour union. So far, tension has reduced but work is still in progress. By Monday, they will meet again and hopefully find an amicable resolution on the issue.”
On what the Federal Government plans to do concerning the 21-day strike scheduled to commence later in the month if the parties fail to reach an agreement, the minister expressed conviction that the matter would be resolved before then.
He stated, “This is why I said we are trying to find a common ground to avert the impending strike. Once this is achieved, the other one would have been taken care of.”