Yesterday, the business community including MAN and NECA issued a warning saying that the upcoming nationwide strike by organised labour over workers' rights would not be good for the nation or its economy.
NLC National President Joe Ajaero informed The Nation via phone yesterday that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) leadership would meet on Tuesday to decide whether to authorise the strike.
The meeting takes place after the federal government's 21-day deadline to provide palliatives for Nigerians to ease the hardship brought on by the elimination of fuel subsidies expired yesterday.
It is requesting, among other things, that the minimum wage, tax breaks, and benefits for public sector employees be reviewed.
In response to its recent warning of industrial action, NLC stated the planned indefinite action will shut down business and economic activity nationwide.
The business community is concerned that a shutdown of the economy now would not bode well for the nation and its inhabitants as a whole.
A national strike now will make the current economic crisis worse, according to Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
“As we have always said, when the labour union goes on strike, the economy is negatively impacted,” Ajayi-Kadir said.
He added that it is the people that suffer, not the government.
"There are fears that if that strike is accompanied by violent protests, it will have implications for maintaining peace.
"Whichever way you look at it, strikes by labour unions, even at normal times, will hurt the economy, especially now that our economy is facing many challenges.
“You are aware that this administration is barely 100 days old and there are quite several policy initiatives the government has taken that are supposed to help the pace for economic reflation in the country.
"Those policies are yet to fully mature to start to yield any positive outcomes.
"In my own opinion, all hands should be on deck to get the economy on the path of recovery and reflation of the economy.
“A strike at this time is going to set back the process and may lead to further hardship for the people and the economy.
"I will particularly appeal to the labour union to consider other means of driving home their demands rather than grounding the economy because the most impacted will not be the government; it will be the people that they speak for," he said.
"There is a high level of consumer apathy, as well as a high level of input cost.
"Even worker mobility remains restricted due to the high cost of fuel and transportation in particular."
Adewale Oyerinde, the Director-General of the Nigeria Employers' Consultative Association (NECA), stated on TVC that Nigeria cannot afford another strike at this time due to the negative consequences on the country's financial health and stability.
According to Peter Adebola, a stock market operator, stock market activities may be halted if organised labour follows through on its threat to go on indefinite strike, particularly if the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) join the action.
"All of the stock market's macroeconomic indicators would fall as well.
"This is because the macroeconomic variables that might influence the stock market are unfavourable."