Banks, schools, govt offices shut as more unions join NLC strike

The ongoing nationwide strike declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress to protest the increase in the pump price of petrol entered its third day on Friday as more unions joined the industrial action.

It was learnt that more banks, schools and government offices across the country were shut.

Labour union officials had on Thursday stormed some state secretariats to enforce the strike leading to clashes with workers.

Imo stands still as strike bites harder

Commercial and social activities in Imo State were almost paralysed following the strike. This was despite threats by the state government to dismiss any worker who participates in the action.

One of our correspondents observed that virtually all government establishments, especially the civil service secretariat, the House of Assembly complex and local government council headquarters, among others were deserted on Friday with armed policemen and men of the Imo Security Networks stationed at their entrance gates.

Public schools in the state were similarly deserted as members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities have also joined the strike.

Also, banks were shut for fear of likely attacks by hoodlums.

Meanwhile, the state government directed all banks in the state to sustain their normal banking services to the public.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Rochas Okorocha, Mr. Sam Onwuemedo, described the strike as uncalled for and warned that any individual, group or association caught disrupting the operations of the banks would be dealt with accordingly.

Workers desert offices in Akwa Ibom

Civil servants in Akwa Ibom State were yet to resume work on Friday as secretariats – both federal and state remained locked.

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A senior labour leader, who spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, vowed that no worker would resume work until the Federal Government reversed the petrol pump price.

All attempts to speak with the state Chairman of the NLC, Mr. Etim Ukpong, were unsuccessful.

Banks shut in Cross River

In Calabar, the Cross River State capital, officials of the NLC and other labour leaders on Friday embarked on protest for the third day running from Eta-Agbor Roundabout through the IBB Way and terminated at the busy Marian Road.

The protesters said they were out to ensure that workers in public institutions and banks stayed away from their offices.

It would be the first time that banks along Mayne Avenue, Calabar Road, IBB Way and Marian Road would be shut for businesses since the strike began on Wednesday.

However, petrol stations were opened and attendants dispensed the product to customers at N145 per litre. Markets and other private business outlets were also opened during the peaceful protest by the labour leaders.

The state Chairman of NLC, Mr. John Ushie, said the strike would continue until the government reversed the pump price from N145 to N86.50 per litre.

Public schools, banks, courts remain closed in Jos

All public schools in Jos remained closed on Friday, our correspondent observed.

Commercial banks were also closed as most of them operated indoors without opening their doors to customers.

Though state courts obeyed the directive of labour union, federal institutions including federal high courts in the state were open for services.

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Federal workers also reported for duty at their secretariat.

Though there were no rallies, the leadership of the NLC set up a task force to ensure compliance.

Chairman of the NLC in the state, Mr. Jibrin Bancir, told Saturday PUNCH that the state chapter would sustain the strike until the Federal Government heeded to the demands of the workers.

More unions join in Niger

The effects of the strike were stronger in Niger State on Friday unlike the previous days when workers showed little interest in the action.

The Association of Senior Staff Union, Federal University of Technology, Minna, and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, College of Education, Minna chapter, joine