The Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) on Tuesday extended the ultimatum issued to CBN to make the naira available at commercial banks within two weeks.
The two organizations had previously threatened to picket all CBN branches starting March 29 if the government and CBN did not end the nationwide cash shortage.
NLC Chairman Joe Ajaero told a news conference in Abuja that the decision to extend the ultimatum was taken after consultations with affiliate members of both unions and their National Executive Councils.
He said reports from the state branches of the two organizations indicated that the CBN had partially complied with a Supreme Court ruling to make cash available in banks.
“We agreed that we have to monitor this compliance over the next two weeks to establish if it is sustainable.
“CBN rushed to transfer money to commercial banks, but some of the banks are running empty again. The queues are coming back to some of them.
“It will be very naive of the NLC to cancel the action hastily. However, we would like to relax for another two weeks.
“The NLC and TUC have decided to let March 29 pass without picketing, but to observe for the next two weeks.
“After two weeks from today, the NEC of the two organizations will meet to decide whether the CBN has fully complied and whether its compliance is sustainable to boost the economy,” he said.
The NLC president said committees have also been established at the national and state levels of the two organizations to monitor the level of compliance by banks.
He also noted that some banks did not comply with CBN’s directive to operate on weekends.
ALSO READ: CBN talks about evacuation of banknotes to commercial banks, orders weekend operation
“We also want to advise the CBN to play its regulatory role because it can penalize non-compliant banks as Nigerians have suffered so much,” Ajaero said.
In his contribution, TUC President Festus Osifo corroborated Ajaero’s submission that the two organizations agreed to keep the momentum going in the next two weeks to ease the hardships of Nigerians.
“With reports coming in from the states, there was some level of compliance, but some banks either refused to comply or refused to open and didn’t open on weekends.
“We call on CBN to encourage them to keep cash available as trust in the system has eroded.
“The CBN needs to do much more. It needs to supply a lot more money to the economy,” Osifo emphasized.