Skip to comments.Hospitals to Shut Down; All Seaports to be Closed; Panic Withdrawal in Banks [Nigeria]
Posted on 10/08/2003 9:22:39 AM PDT by LurkedLongEnough
Nigerian nurses and midwives said on Monday that they would join the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the planned nationwide strike that starts on Thursday, as their national association has directed them not to admit new patients and discharge those on admission at the commencement of the strike.
The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), in a statement signed by its General Secretary (Ag.), Dr. Nwugo-Nwugo, warned nurses and midwives across the country to stop admitting new patients as from tomorrow (Wednesday) and discharge those on sick bed in order to reduce deaths in hospitals during the strike.
This, according to him, was in the best interest of the sick patients.
"In the interest of our patients and to reduce to the minimum avoidable deaths in hospitals during the strike period, nurses and midwives are directed not to admit new patients but discharge those on admission from Wednesday October 8, 2003, if the strike is to commence on Thursday as planned."
The association said it was worried by the dictatorial manner of President Olusegun Obasanjo's administration and the way it "churns out anti-people programmes and policies." Dr. Nwugo stated that President Obasanjo's anti-people programmes were all tailored towards emasculating the already impoverished masses of Nigeria.
"We view the actions and utterances of some highly placed government officials in the case of the unnecessary price hike as provocative and uncalled for. "The association supports in entirety any action(s) taken by the congress to rescue Nigerians from the crushing policies of the present government," he said.
He explained that based on this position, the communique of the national executive council meeting had been forwarded to their members for their information and compliance. "All state councils are hereby directed to join other industrial unions to ensure that the strike is total and effective," the association directed.
There are also indications that activities at all Nigerian seaports would be shut down by Thursday, the commencement date of the NLC strike.
With all maritime workers under the aegis of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) withdrawing their services from the ports at the commencement of the strike, all loading, off-loading and administrative works would stop.
By this, berthing and departure of vessels would be affected as dockworkers and all maritime labour workers would be off the beat, thereby making all business transactions at the ports impossible.
Processing of documents for clearing of goods at the ports would also be halted and as such, all imports and exports would grind to a halt.
Panic Withdrawal in Banks
Nigerians have resorted to panic withdrawal of funds from banks, even as prices of foodstuffs skyrocketed beyond the reach of the masses.
Also, the Nigeria Labour Congress has vowed that the Thursday's nationwide industrial action over the recent hike in fuel prices will be total and will last for two weeks in the first instance.
Investigation by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that major commercial banks on Broad Street, Marina, Yaba, Oyingbo and Ikeja axis witnessed massive withdrawal by depositors, preparatory to the NLC strike.
Also, it was gathered that most workers who were still being owed salary arrears by their employers have continued to mount pressures on them to pay before the commencement of the industrial action.
Nigerian Tribune also learnt that most employers of labour had made contingency plans for the planned action for fear of being caught unawares by the strike which may paralyse their entire operations.
Also, on Monday, long queues of vehicles were noticed in most filling stations in the metropolis, even as some of them were allegedly hoarding the fuel.
Depositors who volunteered to comment on why they were withdrawing money told the Nigerian Tribune that their experiences of the June strike had taught them a bitter lesson, stressing that they would not want to go through such harrowing experiences again.
One of the depositors, Mr. Olumide Ilori, told the Nigerian Tribune that "during the last NLC strike, we suffered serious economic hardship because we were ill-prepared, but this time, I have to cash some money in my bank because I don't want to suffer again during the sit-at-home order".
Nigerian Tribune gathered that some banks, have made special arrangement for skeleton services so as to meet the demands of their customers during the strike.
Nigerian Tribune also discovered that residents were rushing to markets to stockpile foodstuffs and drinks preparatory to the planned strike. Following the panic buying, prices of foodstuffs and fruits have jumped to the roof-top, especially in markets like Oyingbo, Mile 2, Mile 12, Idumota and Oke Aarin all in the metropolis.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that prices of the foodstuffs may likely shoot up higher before the end of the week.
Many banks and markets in Ibadan metropolis were on Monday thronged by people in anticipation of the strike action.
As early as 8.00 a.m., many banks on Iwo Road, Ring Road and Dugbe area of the city were filled with customers.
Many people could, however, not cash their money in some of the banks they appeared short of cash.
In banks such as Union Bank, Agodi, First Bank, Agodi, Afribank, Ring Road, Standard Trust Bank and the United Bank for Africa, Iwo Road, customers were delayed for several hours before they could be attended to.
At the major markets in Ibadan, many people were seen buying foodstuff in preparation for the industrial action.
Prices of goods and commodities were inflated at the markets visited.
At fuel stations, long queues were seen and petrol was sold for between N40 and N45 per litre.
In another development, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun, has summoned all state commissioners of police and senior police officers to a meeting today in Abuja over the strike threat.
Details of the agenda for the meeting were not made public, but an informed police source disclosed to the Nigerian Tribune on Monday that top on the agenda of the meeting included the proposed strike and to discuss how the state commissioners of police should handle the situation in their respective states.
However, in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Olakpe, stated that the Inspector General of Police would meet with commissioners of police and very senior police officers over contemporary issues in Nigeria.
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It is in the breaking news sidebar!
And now they are happy and on strike. Doubleplus ultra happy!
This strike must be damaging their email setup though. I keep replying with routing numbers and other info, but my bank keeps making mistakes, and I never can get them back on the email to reverse the screwed up wire transfers.....