#COVID19: NLC Explains How Lockdown Extension May Cause Unrest In Nigeria

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned the federal government not to extend the lockdown order on COVID-19 as doing so might cause social unrest in the country.

The Union stated this in a letter signed by the NLC President Ayuba Wabba on April 14, 2020 and addressed to the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 SGF Boss Mustapha.

The union also interrogated the method deployed by the federal authorities in the distribution of the much touted palliative measure and demanded that the initiative is expanded to all Nigerians affected by the lockdown.

In the letter, the union wrote: “While we understand the public health imperatives for extending the lockdown in some parts of the country, it is also very important to underscore the fact that the states currently under total lockdown are the economic and administrative nerve centres of Nigeria.

“This is very dicey. As much as it is important to keep many Nigerians from dying in the hands of coronavirus, loss of income and the accompanying destitution can also be a pathfinder for numerous other sicknesses and deaths. This is the time to play the balancing game.

“The truth is that our economy might relapse into prolonged coma if the current lockdown in the nation’s nerve centres goes beyond the current extension.

“There were widespread acts of civil disobedience, inducement of law enforcement agents to gain passes and even various forms of violent crimes.

“No one is sure how long this dam would hold. We fear that the situation will get out of hand if the lockdown exceeds one month.

“While we commend government for being proactive, we opine that the stimulus package would be best served through consultation with social partners.

“Labour and private sector employers have a good understanding of industries where jobs and production are in most danger.”