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Labour Sends Warning To Governors On Minimum Wage, Awaits Tinubu’s Decision




Breaking: Labour React To New Minimum Wage

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), on Saturday, sent a warning to some of the governors not to plunge the country into a state of resentment, misery, and impoverishment through their wrong pieces of advice.

The Organized Labour also reiterated that the position taken by President Bola Tinubu on the two proposals before him from the report of the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage would determine their next line of action.

Naija News recalls that the government team and the organized private sector made an offer of ₦62,000 on the last day of the meeting of the Tripartite Committee on New National Minimum Wage.

The organised labour rejected the offer and requested ₦250,000 as a new living wage.

Speaking to Saturday Vanguard, the Head of Information of the NLC, Comrade Benson Upah, said that the two labour centres will subject whatever figure the President submits to the National Assembly to the decision of the appropriate organs of the two labour centres.

He also ruled out the option of rushing to strike immediately, explaining that not every problem will be solved with a strike and adding that a strike is always the last option.

Fielding questions over the agitation in some quarters that President Tinubu has delayed making pronouncements on the figure to be transmitted to the National Assembly, Comrade Upah advised Nigerians to tarry for a while in concluding, contending that the report was sent to the President within the period of Democracy Day and Sallah when some relevant stakeholders had to travel out.

The NLC spokesman said, “As at the time the Tripartite Committee submitted the report to the President, there was Democracy Day and then the Sallah break, all of which were practically lumped together for the political stakeholders to travel.

“So, on the length of time taken for the transmission of the executive bill, we have no issue with that; what we are concerned about is what will be transmitted to the National Assembly.”

Asked what will be the reaction of the organized labour if the government decides to go with the N62,000 as offered by the government and the organized private sector against the labour’s demand of N250,000, he said, “Well, let the government come up with it first, and then I even want you to note that there is division in the ranks of the government team, with the governors saying they can’t even pay the N62,000. So, whatever the government transmits to the National Assembly, will determine our mood. So, let us wait to reach the bridge before we climb it.”

On the allegation that the state governors are the obstacle to the new minimum wage and what would be the position of the organized labour towards the disposition of the governors to a new living wage, Upah said that the governors have a negative disposition to a new living wage are in the minority but very vocal.

According to him, “In fairness, we will not say that the state governors are the obstacle; it is a vocal minority in the ranks of the governors that is projecting the governors as bad and dishonest people, and we know that minority group. Quite a number of governors have come out to say that whatever they say is the minimum wage, we are ready to pay, quite a number of them have said so.

“Our message is to the vocal minority group in the rank of the governors, giving the governors a bad name, misleading the President, and creating a major social problem in the country. We would warn them to retrace their steps; their behaviour in their state has not enhanced the wealth or capacity of their states.

“We will advise them to retrace their steps instead of giving a piece of advice that is capable of plunging the country into a state of impoverishment, the state of misery, and the state of resentment.

“Quite a number of Nigerians have come out to speak publicly; in fact, out of five Nigerians, four have come out to say that labour has a very good case, so government should do the needful and shame the devil.”

On the possibility of labour going on strike, if the government remains adamant about paying ₦62,000, he said, “We have said again and again that whatever government offers in the final analysis will be subject to the decision of the appropriate organs of the two labour centres.

“So, we cannot say we are going to go on strike, no. We will look at what the government offers and then meet with the appropriate organs of the NLC and the TUC. It is not every problem that will be solved with a strike. Strike, as you know, is the last option.”

is an Associate at Naija News. He is a news media enthusiast, he holds a degree in psychology and loves exploring and sharing about the enormous power that lies in the human mind. Email: [email protected], Instagram: adeniyidman