Nigerian parliament shut as workers seek better pays

Workers barricade parliament building, cut off water and electricity supplies

Nigerian parliament shut as workers seek better pays

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria

Nigeria's parliament building was shut on Monday as workers began a four-day strike over unpaid salaries and allowances.

The workers are also protesting the outsourcing of some jobs meant for parliament workers to private contractors, Odo Chris, leader of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, told reporters in capital Abuja.

“If these issues are not addressed after our warning strike, then we will declare a total shutdown,” he added.

This comes four days before President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to lay the 2019 budget before the parliament. Unless the workers return to work, the budget presentation may not be held this week.

The strike has seen workers barricading the parliament building as water and electricity supplies to the parliament have been cut off.

The workers had on Sunday issued a notice to begin the strike to push for immediate payment of outstanding salaries, allowances and inclusion on the so-called Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS) which would shoot up their pay by at least 28 percent.

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