Mixed Reactions from Banks as Nationwide Strike Hits Lagos

By Henry Okonkwo
Banks, public schools, and government offices were closed in Lagos State as workers complied with the directive of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress to commence a nationwide indefinite strike on Monday.
Recall that NLC had ordered workers to begin an indefinite nationwide strike following the May 31 deadline for the Federal Government to approve and implement a new National Minimum Wage.
Also, last-minute intervention by the National Assembly on Sunday night to prevent the strike was unsuccessful, as the meeting between government representatives and labour leaders ended in a deadlock. The Federal Government had proposed a new minimum wage of N60,000, while labour demanded a different amount.
FTN monitored the level of compliance in various parts of Lagos. Government establishments such as federal and state secretariats were closed, and offices were deserted, while pupils at public primary and secondary schools were sent back home by teachers.
However, there was partial compliance with the strike in the private sector, with shopping malls and open markets operating, but banks had mixed reactions to the strike.
Most banks in areas like Ikeja did not open their doors to customers for fear of being picketed by labour agents. This left customers unable to access their accounts or conduct transactions.
A bank staff member in the computer village area in Ikeja mentioned that they closed their banks based on orders from their superiors due to rumours of potential picketing by labour unions. Meanwhile, several banks were seen operating smoothly in other parts of the megacity. Access and Zenith banks situated along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway had normal activities, and customers were conducting various transactions both inside and outside the banks. In bustling areas like Oke-afa and Isolo, most banks also opened to attend to their customers.
As the strike continues, many Nigerians are feeling the impact, and it remains to be seen what steps the government will take to address the concerns of the labour unions and call off the nationwide strike.

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