Labour wants N56,000 new minimum wage

NLC President, Wabba

NLC President, Wabba

Seeks probe of govs that diverted bailout funds
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have jointly proposed and submitted a new minimum wage of N56,000 monthly salary for workers to the Federal Government, The Guardian has learnt.

Confirming the submission of the proposal to the Federal Government yesterday in Abuja, President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said that Labour movement expects government to raise a tripartite committee to study the merits of the proposal.

He said: “I can confirm that we have made a formal demand of N56,000 minimum wage to government. That demand has been submitted officially to the Federal Government and we hope that the tripartite system to look at the review will be put in place. Our argument is that, yes, its true that the economy is not doing well, but the law is also clear that this issue must be looked into. And workers should not be seen to be sleeping on their rights.”

Wabba stressed that the tripartite committee would be saddled with the responsibility of discussing the processes of the new minimum wage law when it is constituted.

The NLC chief noted that the workers have not fared well in the last one year of the present administration, saying the option before the workers is not lamentation but organising to change their collective misery.

Wabba submitted that the ability of the three arms of government to pay the new wage bill should not be cited as reason not to negotiate new national minimum wage.

His words: “First, Nigerians must understand the logic behind the minimum wage. The logic is to ensure that no worker earns below what can be able to sustain him, wife and four children for a period of 30 days. We must understand that the challenge we are passing in our economy, we don’t expect it to be forever. It is something that is transient. Economies will always go up and down.”

He further explained that the planned discussion would be about the totality of all the challenges that the country is passing through, saying the collective agreement as espoused by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) would guide the negotiations.

The NLC helmsman also said the time has come for the extension of the anti-corruption war to the states and local councils in order to achieve success.

“It is still obvious that part of the challenge of corruption is that things are not done transparently in those states. We expect the EFCC and ICPC to investigate and subsequently prosecute those states that diverted the bailout funds.”



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