N30, 000 minimum wage: No new pay, no vote, NLC tells Niger governor

By Ummi Ismaeel,

Organised Labour in Niger State, in its hundreds, carried placards with different inscriptions and stormed the state Government House to press for the implementation of the N30, 000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The workers condemned what they termed, ‘tactical slowdown and withdrawal’ by President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) in transmitting to the National Assembly the recommendation by the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage.

But for the presence of combined security operatives at the main entrance gate to the Government House, the workers almost forced their way into the premises before the state Governor, Alhaji Abubarkar Sani Bello, emerged to address them.
State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Yahaya Ndako, who told the Governor the reason for the protest, said that Nigerian workers were the least paid when compared to their counterparts across the world, a development he said was ‘unacceptable’.
Ndako criticised the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors' Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, for claiming that governors would not be able to implement the N30, 000 minimum wage.
According to Ndako, “We condemn Yari for such such claim. He has no basis for making such claims. We know state governments have the capacity to pay even more. So for him to say governors cannot pay, it is a lie and we urge him to resign if he cannot pay”.
Also, Comrade Benson Upa, who represented the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, pointed out that lack of better welfare for Nigerian workers has contributed to insecurity in the country because their children have engaged in all forms of social vices due to inability of their parents to cater for their basic needs.
If President Buhari fails to transmit the recommendations of the Tripartite Committee to the National Assembly for passage into law, Benson expressed fears that members of the organised labour will have no choice than defy the forthcoming elections by not voting.
“Your Excellency, our position on the matter remains sacrosanct. If the minimum wage is not implemented, workers in Nigeria will not vote. No minimum wage, no vote. We will not back down. We are determined”, the NLC president said.
Responding, Governor Bello said that he shared in the plight of Nigerian workers because he also has relatives who are suffering the same fate and assured of his administration’s preparedness to implement whatever the Federal government decided on the new minimum wage.

Governor Bello however warned that with increase in the wages of the workers, inflation was sure to increase thereby affecting the economy and subsequently the standard of living of the workers and entire citizenry.

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