Calling 4 strikes in 9 months unacceptable

President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, knocked the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over its approach and tactics to national issues.


“The labour has gone on strike four times within my nine months in government. That’s a record. Calling for a strike in just nine months of an administration is unacceptable,” the president said at the inauguration of the second phase of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT), the Red Line rail project, in Ikeja, yesterday.

He noted that no matter how much they laid claim to their freedom and their rights, calling for strikes within nine months of an administration was “unacceptable.”

“If you want to participate in the electoral process, wait until 2027; if not, then make peace. You are not the only voice of Nigerians,” he added.

His comment came three days after the NLC staged a protest rally over the high cost of living in the country. It planned the protest for two days but suspended it after the first day. The workers’ union has also threatened to call for a strike later if the government fails to address its grievances.

Tinubu said he was aware of the noise being made over the economic challenges in the country but would not complain because he asked for the job. He assured Nigerians that the country would be out of the woods, with perseverance and hard work.

“I am assuring that Nigeria will be out of economic problems. We just need to persevere, work hard and be assured,” he said.

Tinubu cited corruption as one of the major reasons the country is facing economic challenges and promised to fight the menace to a standstill in order to succeed and reposition Nigeria economically. He called on Nigerians to be patient and hopeful.

“There’s a very bright light at the end of the tunnel. I agree that smuggling will fight back, and corruption will fight back. We will fight them. This administration is committed to fighting corruption to ruins. Corruption will go away. We’ll save the money for you, to educate our children, to pay for the healthcare system of our people, to pay for modern transportation systems, and work for highest number of people. The fight is on, we’re not looking back.

“Change is possible and change we must achieve; progress we must achieve. It is not about the individual but about the huge population. We must plan for their future. If our problem is corruption, we must exterminate it, no matter how much it is fighting back. No to corruption, we must adhere to our pledge. We must stay hopeful,” he stated.

On the Lagos rail project, he said it was a constant reminder that change was possible.

“When you put people at the center of your planning, you will realize the benefits of democracy.”

The president commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for bringing to life a vision of 25 years.

” Today is evidence that it’s good to dream. This is a testimony of democracy. Twenty-five years ago, I was elected to lead Nigeria’s most populous state. My team and I toiled day and night to transform Lagos into the economic power of Africa.


“Now, we’re realising that dream. It’s not a crime to dream and dream big, just stay focused. A dream conceived a quarter of a century ago is now a reality,” he said.

He noted that the blueprint had worked out for more than four administrations. “From launching the Bus Rapid Transit system, to the ferry, and massive upgrade of roads; LAMATA, thank you very much. The history of Lagos will be written with you in gold,” he said.

Tinubu expressed delight in the success of the project, with the inauguration of the second of the six rail lines.

“Thank you for believing in us, for lifting our spirits. I asked for this job, I cannot complain. We cannot afford to rest on our oars, no room for complacency,” the president said.

Governor Sanwo-Olu applauded Tinubu for being a visionary and committed leader to the development of the state.

“The vision that you started, you’re here to see it become a reality. The country may be going through a lot, but I’m convinced that with your vision, we will get to the Promised Land. In 2003, you created LAMATA, I stand here very proud of our achievements,” he said.

He commended the president for supporting him immensely. “I stand here with a lot of gratitude to my predecessors Babatunde Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode, for being a part of this vision.”

He also thanked former president Goodluck Jonathan for signing-off on the track-sharing agreement, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) for providing the necessary cooperation and support.

The Red Line, a 37 km rail line integrating key bus terminals at Oyingbo, Yaba, Oshodi, Ikeja and Iju, extends to Agbado in Ogun State.

The red rail track is expected to convey about 500,000 passengers daily when operational.

Sanwo-Olu asked for more support from the Federal Government to further actualise its dream on other rail lines yet to kick off.

“Mr. President, this is not the end of the story, but merely the beginning. As I said earlier, we are on a long and exciting journey. Much has been accomplished, and there is still much ahead to be done. There will be a total of six lines on the Lagos Rail Mass Transit System, when fully developed. We have already started the preliminary work on the next two: the Green and Purple Lines.

“The Green Line is a 71.49-kilometre route from Marina to the Lekki Free Trade Zone, one of the fastest-growing industrial areas on the continent today, and also where we will be sitting the new Lagos International Airport. The Purple Line is a 54.35-kilometre line from the Redemption Camp to Ojo, near the Lagos State University. The final two lines will be the Orange and the Yellow Lines,” he said.

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