‘Things’ll get out of hand’ — NLC warns FG against lockdown extension

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned the federal government against extending ongoing lockdown introduced to combat spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

In a letter dated April 14, 2020 and signed by its president, Ayuba Wabba, the NLC said any attempt to extend the lockdown order would breed unrest with people already complaining about the hardships it has brought upon them.

The union also called on the federal government to ensure proper distribution of the palliatives put in place for poor Nigerians, to ensure those who need the items actually get them.

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The union said, “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.

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“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.”

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