Strike Over Minimum Wage Sparks Nationwide Blackout


Strike Over Minimum Wage: Nigerian workers embark on an indefinite nationwide strike, shutting down the national grid and essential services, demanding fair wages and reversal of electricity tariff hikes amidst economic crisis.

In a bold move against economic hardships and governmental inaction, Nigerian workers have embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike, led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC). This industrial action, which began on June 3rd, 2024, comes in response to unresolved national minimum wage negotiations and the refusal to reverse the electricity tariff hike.

The Genesis of the Strike

The nationwide strike has plunged the country into darkness, with the national grid shut down and many essential services disrupted. Flights have been canceled, and schools, offices, and hospitals have closed. The crux of the issue lies in the government’s failure to complete the National Minimum Wage negotiation exercise and address the excessive electricity tariff hike. The NLC and TUC had issued notices since May, demanding the completion of the wage setting process and a reversal of the electricity tariff hike to N66/kwh, but these demands were met with inaction.

Workers’ Desperation and Government’s Response

The situation is dire for many Nigerian workers. Security guard Mallam Magaji Garba highlights the daily struggles faced by workers earning the current minimum wage of 30,000 naira. Even the government’s proposal to double the wage would fall short of meeting basic needs, such as affording a 50kg bag of rice, which costs 75,000 naira  .

Garba’s plea underscores a broader sentiment among workers: “It’s not fair that we have top government officials earning millions monthly while the smallest workers earn so little and find it difficult to feed.” This disparity fuels the resolve of the NLC and TUC to continue their strike until their demands are met.

The NLC’s Stand

The NLC has accused the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) of spreading falsehoods to mislead the public and undermine the strike. The labor union emphasizes that the grid shutdown is a direct result of workers withdrawing their services, demonstrating the critical role of workers in keeping essential services running . The NLC has also condemned the use of military personnel to intimidate and harass striking workers, warning that such actions are an abuse of power and an insult to democracy .

Government’s Commitment

In a bid to resolve the crisis, the Federal Government convened a meeting with the organized labor on June 3rd. The President has committed to a minimum wage higher than 60,000 naira, with the Tripartite Committee scheduled to meet daily to reach an agreeable figure . However, the NLC remains skeptical and calls for concrete actions rather than mere promises.

Call for Solidarity

The NLC and TUC urge all Nigerians to stand in solidarity with the striking workers. The labor unions assert that this struggle is not just about wages but about fighting for policies that prioritize the well-being of the people. They vow to persist in their demands for a fair and just living wage and the reversal of the electricity tariff hike.


As Nigeria grapples with one of the worst economic crises in a generation, the nationwide strike led by the NLC and TUC symbolizes a broader fight for economic justice and equitable policies. The workers’ unwavering resolve sends a clear message: they will not be intimidated by falsehoods, and they will not back down until their rightful demands are met. This strike is a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s labor history, highlighting the power of collective action in the face of adversity.


  • BBC News, 2024
  • Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Press Release, June 3rd, 2024.
  • TUC Statement, June 3rd, 2024
  • Government-Organized Labour Meeting Resolutions, June 3rd, 2024


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