Millions of Nigerians are without power after a national grid shutdown due to a general strike over the high cost of living.

The strike began around 02:00 local time when union members stopped power control room operators and shut down electricity substations.

The strike has also led to flight cancellations in Lagos and Abuja, leaving passengers stranded.

Unions are demanding a significant increase in the minimum wage from the current 30,000 naira ($22) per month, which they say is insufficient to cover basic living expenses like food.

Security guard Mallam Magaji Garba explained to the BBC that even a proposed doubling of the wage wouldn’t cover the cost of a 50kg bag of rice, which now costs 75,000 naira.

He calls for a fair wage increase, highlighting the disparity between top government officials’ high earnings and the struggles of ordinary workers.

Nigeria’s unions want the minimum wage raised to 494,000 naira ($369) to match economic realities, but the government argues this would hurt the economy and lead to job losses. The strike has closed schools, offices, and hospitals nationwide.

This is the fourth strike since President Bola Tinubu took office last year, during a severe economic crisis worsened by the removal of a fuel subsidy and a steep drop in the naira’s value.

President Tinubu claims these tough measures are needed for long-term economic reform, despite short-term hardships like soaring inflation and stagnant wages.

This summary is based on reporting by the BBC.

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