Minimum Wage: NLC protests in Enugu, Ekiti, Kogi, Niger

The Enugu State branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday joined their counterparts across the congress to observe the labour ‘National Day of Protest’.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that workers trooped out en masse to participate in the rally that took place at the state secretariat.

It would be recalled that the national leadership of the NLC had directed the protest to register their dismay on the handling of the national minimum wage by the Federal Government.

The Chairman of the NLC in Enugu State, Mr Viginus Nwobodo described the exercise in the state as a `huge success’ as workers turned out in their numbers.

Nwobodo said that the success of the protest was a pointer to what would happen if labour eventually went on strike.

The chairman who addressed the workers after a peaceful road protest said that the workers were miffed that the Federal Government had failed to transmit the report of the tripartite committee to the National Assembly.

“This protest is as a result of the lingering issue of the national minimum wage. We are not happy that legislative work has not started on the matter,” he said.

He said that workers were running out of patience, adding that they were waiting for further directives from their headquarters.

“We are waiting for further directives from our headquarters and anytime they direct us to commence strike we shall fully comply,” Nwobodo said.

Protest in Ekiti

The organised labour in Ekiti, on Tuesday, said that there would be no going back on the agitation for the new national minimum wage of N30,000.

Members of the organised labour, consisting of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) among others, converged at the popular Fajuyi Park at a protest rally for the new minimum wage.

The President of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses’ and Midwives, Mr Abdulrafiu Adeniji, representing the NLC National President, said there would be no going back on the new national minimum wage.

Adeniji said the decision to embark on a nationwide strike and protest was the last resort to those who had mistaken the union’s patience for weakness.

He said the new minimum wage must be enacted and quickly implemented by every tier of government at the Federal, State and Local Government levels.

Adeniji urged the workers to remain steadfast and firm on their rights to decent wages and improved living conditions.

He urged the government to desist from using sack threat or policy of “no work no pay” to break the unions, noting that it would only energise them the more.

In his address, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schoosl, who is also the Vice Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Sola Adigun, said the new minimum wage was long overdue and government should implement it.

Also, the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), Ekiti State University (EKSU) chapter, Mr Olatunde Kolapo, said the N30, 000 was too small to enhance the living standard of workers, and it should not be difficult for government to pay.

Protest in in Kogi

The Organised Labour in Kogi on Tuesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly implement the N30,000 minimum wage.

Mr Onu Edoka, Chairman of the state chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), made the call during a protest march to Government House, Lokoja for implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage.

Edoka said some state governors hiding under the guise of Nigeria Governors’ Forum wanted to distract the president from implementing the new minimum wage.

“We hereby reiterate our directive to Nigerian workers to vote out any politician or political party that refuses to pay the new national minimum wage of N30, 000.

“We shall continue to consolidate our efforts to strengthen already existing platforms and structures to give teeth to our firm resolve to remove from power anti-labour governors and political leaders in the general election.

“We urge government to desist from using the threat of mass sack or the barbaric policy of “no work, no pay” to break our resolve as this will only calcify our position,’’ he said.

Edoka said workers in the state were being owed salary arrears of between five and 24 months without concrete plan to pay.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Medical and Health workers Union (MHWUN), National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) took part in the protest.

Protest in Niger

Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger has pledged to support the N30,000 minimum wage demand by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).

He said that his administration has always given priority to the welfare of workers in the state since 2015.

He said this during a meeting with officials and members of the state Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday in Minna.

The NLC delegation was at the government house to register their protest against the delay in the transmission of the National Minimum Wage to the National Assembly.

Bello expressed his administration’s readiness to comply with the demand of NLC as soon it was implemented by the Federal government.

According to him, there is need to look into workers welfare in order to improve their standard of living and service delivery.

“I am 100 per cent in support of the need to look at whatever is happening on how to improve the life and standard of living of our people.

“I have no problem with the implementation of the payment of N30,000 minimum wage to our workers, as I believe this matter will soon be put to rest.

“The welfare of our workers is something we have to look into properly,” he said.

Bello said that as part of efforts to improve workers welfare, government had released N30 billion for the payment of pension and death gratuity.

He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari was concerned about the welfare of civil servants in the country and had made provision for the N30,000 minimum wage in the 2019 budget.

Earlier, Mr Idris Ndako, the NLC Chairman in Niger, called for the urgent implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage.

He described civil servants as partners in progress and machineries that drive the country’s economy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Benson Upah, who represented NLC President Ayuba Wabba, led the protest to the government house.

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