Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said that the salaries of workers in the country are not enough to buy milk for politicians’ dogs and pets judging from the quantum of money spent on their domestic animals leaving the nation’s civil servants to languish in abject penury and squalor.
It also alleged that different species of dogs are bought with hundreds of thousands of naira by politicians and some others in the government circle and feed the dogs with hundreds of thousands of naira but workers receive what will not be enough to buy milk on weekly basis for their dogs and pets.
Assistant Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress Anambra state chapter and National Vice President Radio Television and Theatre Arts Workers’ Union (RATTAWU) Southeast zone Comrade Prince Emeka Kalu made the observation while speaking with journalists in Awka on Wednesday while reacting to the federal government complacent attitude towards NLC demand for N30,000 new national minimum wage.
Kalu said the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had lost its focus especially as it concerned human resource management, stressing that it was quite unfortunate that the current national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Adams Oshomhole rose through the rank and file of the NLC championing most of its struggles for better condition of service for Nigerian workers but expressed worry that in spite of being a former national president of the NLC, he was the one leading others astray.
The RATTAWU vice president also pointed out that it was regrettable, shameful as well as most unfortunate that the Minister for Labour and Employment Dr.Chris Nwabueze Ngige could not clamour for workers to receive more than N30,000 minimum wage.
He however admonished the APC-led federal government to cut cost of governance and consider the plight of the Nigerian worker by approving the N30,000 minimum wage labour was currently agitating for even though he observed that the minimum wage was regrettable and that the federal government’s insistence in negotiating it was equally criminal.
Also, the state treasurer of the NLC in Anambra and chairperson Medical and Health Workers’ Union Anambra state chapter Comrade Chinwe Orizu reaffirmed the issues raised by the national vice president of RATTAWU Southeast zone, saying that the dogs and some other domestic animals of politicians drink milk but some Nigerian workers have not tasted milk in the last one year in their respective families.
Orizu noted that the dogs of the leaders were being fed very well from the nation’s resources but most Nigerian workers did not have food on their tables. He thereby accused leaders of being insensitive to the plight of the nation’s workforce.
She also noted that while Nigerian leaders embarked on medical tourism abroad together with other frivolous trips, workers were compelled to access hospitals without equipment and personnel, stressing that workers were being exploited in a country where they were supposed to be partakers in governance even as she said that the federal government perceived workers as enemies of progress judging from its standpoint that the N30,000 minimum wage will cause an inflation in the nation’s economy.
She queried the rationale behind the billions of naira and dollars politicians squandered during primary elections and other electioneering activities whereas the Nigerian worker was appealing for the adoption of N30,000 minimum wage. She emphasised that workers had taken their fate in their own hands and there would be no retreat, no surrender in spite of the federal government threat of no work, no pay.