NLC to FG: Let salaries, wages be commensurate with cost of living

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has insisted on a living wage for workers in the country.
The Congress asked the Federal Government to allow salaries and wages to be commensurate with the cost of living.

President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero said this at the 11th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria yesterday in Abuja.

On Thursday, the NLC presented N709, 000 for consideration as the new national minimum wage at the public hearing for the North Central.

The Trade Union Congress on the other hand presented N447,000 as its proposal for consideration as the new national minimum wage.

The current minimum wage of N30, 000 passed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari would expire in April this year.

Ajaero lamented that workers have been reduced to beggars because of the economic hardship in the country.

He said: “Food has become so scarce that Nigerians have become scavengers and resorting to raiding food trucks and warehouses for food. If those in government cannot see the danger in what is happening, we see it and must ensure that government fulfills its duties to the people.

“We are increasingly going hungry in our father’s land and cannot continue in this destitution. The greatest unifier and mobiliser of a people is hunger so it insults commonsense when those in government assume that somebody is sponsoring people who are protesting because of hunger.

“If anybody is arousing the people, it is those in government whose policies have impoverished the people and stripped them of those values that make them human beings.

“The looting of food trucks and warehouse is what you get when this happens. Unless something is done, this may unfortunately escalate. We pray it does not.

“Those who therefore think that they can stop us from this divine mission with their threats and violence should think twice. We cannot be cowed. We cannot surrender our natural mandate to powers and agents of poverty and emasculation. We are not after anybody’s job but we must insist that the instruments of governance must be used for the greater good of the people and not to wreck their lives.

 

“We must insist that any political calculation that does not put the lives of Nigerians first fails abysmally and is totally unacceptable. The people of Nigeria must have to survive first so that Nigeria can survive before we begin to talk about 2027.

“We must all work together to build power with which we can use for successful engagement with those who are in charge of the various corridors of power in our dear nation. Nigerians look up to us and we must not fail them. We in the NLC, which includes your Ag. President and Deputy President of Congress; Comrade Ado Sani Minjibir will always court and cherish your support to build the necessary structures that will make the NLC stronger thus challenge the vicissitudes of the nation’s current socioeconomic realities.”

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha said the government was committed to providing affordable healthcare for Nigerians.

Onyejeocha, who was represented by the Director, Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations, Yusuf Mohammed also said the government was committed to providing better welfare packages for health workers.

Acting National President, Medical and Health Workers Union, Kabiru Minjibir said the removal of fuel subsidy has “unleashed hardship on Nigerians.”

Minjibir noted that “anarchy may be looming if nothing practical is urgently done.”

Meanwhile, Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, has affirmed the commitment of Nigerian governors to effectively implement a new minimum wage for workers.

The governor made the declaration on his verified Facebook page following his participation in a meeting in Yola, convened by the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage (North-East Zone) yesterday.

“We are collaborating to ensure the smooth implementation of the new minimum wage,” he stated.

The governor further expressed gratitude to President Bola Tinubu for his support to state governments and his endeavors to enhance the well-being of all Nigerians.

 

<<The Nation>>