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Nationwide Protest About Hunger, Economic Hardship, Not Minimum Wage – NLC Replies Presidency




The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said the two-day nationwide protest by its members is about hunger and the economic hardship in the nation.

The National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, made this known while speaking with reporters on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said contrary to the claim made by the Presidency that the ongoing protest is needless and about the minimum wage review, the union is not protesting only about the review of the country’s minimum wage.

Ajaero also accused the Federal Government of failing to meet the demands of the union since the removal of fuel subsidy, which has led to a rise in the cost of living.

He said, “You have to understand it. This protest is about hunger. What of those who are not working? The minimum wage, when will it be completed? When will it be implemented? What will be the minimum wage that will remove hunger?

“The UN said that every the poorest man should be fed on $2 per day. That’s the poorest. And if you have a family of six people, $2 per day by six is $12,” he said while addressing the press in Abuja.

“In a month, you have $360 which translates to about N700,000. Is that the minimum wage you’re talking about? Is that what will feed you? That’s feeding alone. I’m not talking about transportation and accommodation. So what are we saying? What about medical? What are we saying?

“Well, you know, we don’t, we don’t tell them what to do. We will tell them how we feel. There was hunger in the land, but it wasn’t this bad until deregulation. And then after the regulation, we proposed all that we needed to. If they had solved the problem of transportation immediately, they would have solved almost 50% of the problem.

“Because even when you process garri in the village, you need to transport it to town. The expenses you incurred on transportation, you add it to the cost of garri.

So the moment they touch PMS, you can’t fill your tank with N30,000, N40,000. So the moment they touched it. We said, ‘OK, bring CNG buses. This is  7-8 months, no one bus is on the street.

“So we have provided all those solutions, even the cash transfer. They are still telling us now that they will start the cash transfer and they were playing politics with it that they were diverting it to their accounts. After today, we review our situation.”

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.