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Prevail on Tinubu to Tackle Food Inflation, not just wage Increment -IPF urges Labour




By Stephen Asaba-ase


Editors under the auspices of the Ijaw Publishers’ Forum, IPF has urged the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress to use its strike action and protest to prevail on president Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration to address food crisis and rise in price of food items in the country, rather than focusing on wages increment only.


However, in recent years, Nigeria has witnessed a significant rise in the prices of essential food items, leading to increased hardship for its citizens.


The publishers in a statement by its National president Comrade Ozobo Austin said while wage increment had often been the focus of labour strikes and protests, it is essential to recognize the potential of such strikes in pressuring the Nigerian government to address the root causes of food inflation.


According to the Forum, labour and TUC should look beyond using strikes in fighting for fair wages but also use such strikes to advocate for measures to reduce the price of food stuff in the country.


It was learned that Nigeria, with its population of over 200 million people, had been grappling with a soaring food inflation crisis. The rising prices of staple food items such as rice, maize, cassava, garri, beans, meat , fish and vegetables had led to increased poverty, and reduced the purchasing power of its citizens. Factors such as inadequate agricultural infrastructure, climate change, high production costs, insecurity and import dependence contribute to the high cost of food in the country.


The Ijaw Publishers’ maintained that while strikes are primarily associated with demands for wage increases, Labour Unions and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) possessed considerable power to influence government policies beyond just salary adjustments but leverage their collective strength to insist on broader socioeconomic reforms, including measures to address the rising cost of food.


The statement reads,

“Labour unions can use strikes as a means to pressure the Nigerian government to reassess policies that contribute to food inflation. These policies may include import tariffs, restrictions, and regulations that hinder local food production and drive up prices. By demanding policy reforms that promote and support sustainable agriculture, unions can indirectly influence the cost of food stuff in the country.


“Through strikes and demonstrations, labour unions can hold the government accountable for its promises of affordable food prices. Public pressure resulting from these actions can prompt the government to adopt policies that prioritise the welfare of citizens, ensuring that efforts are made to reduce the cost of food items”, they added.