New Minimum Wage: Workers Running Out Of Patience –Labour Leaders

Barely two weeks after submitting a committee report on the mew minimum wage to President Muhammadu Buhari, labour chiefs restated on Friday that workers were running out of patience with government over the slow action on the issue.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that on November 5, Buhari received the report of a tripartite committee he set up since last November to fashion out a new minimum wage for workers.

Nigerian workers have been voicing their frustrations over what they describe as the peanuts paid to public sector workers in a country where political office holders, including members of the parliament receive some of the biggest pay checks in the world.

Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, the labour leaders vowed that there would be neither retreat nor surrender in the resolve of labour to ensure that workers were paid N30,000 as minimum wage.

The Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress, Mr. Musa Lawal, said that labour would not accept any sum less than what was agreed on by the committee.

“It is the tripartite committee decision for workers to be paid N30,000 as minimum wage. There is no going back by labour on the amount.”

He said that any governor, who would not pay the sum should have no place governing a state, noting that governors should respect agreements they entered into.

Lawal said that labour would not hesitate to return to Abuja for further dialogue on the issue if the need arose, rather than waiting endlessly on the matter.

The Deputy General-Secretary of the United Labour Congress, Mr. Chris Onyeka, said also that governors were bound to pay the N30,000 because they were represented in the committee.

Onyeka remarked that the apparent delay in resolving the wage issue was a cover up to frustrate workers on the matter.

“The delay is a cover up. Except President Muhammadu Buhari wants to say that the tripartite committee report submitted to him has become irrelevant.

“For now, the meeting between the president and the governors and threat by the later to sack workers are delay tactics on the wage implementation. We will not take it.”

Onyeka told Buhari to hasten the new wage issue and forward the bill to the National Assembly to avoid a major labour unrest ahead of national elections early next year.


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