…We’ll oppose moves to frustrate new minimum wage —NLC lIntensify participation in political arena, Jega tells workers
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA—Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has assured workers across the country that the Federal Government would announce a new minimum wage by September this year.
He gave the assurance while speaking at the 40th anniversary of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in Abuja, yesterday.
According to Ngige, the Federal Government is currently receiving memoranda from relevant bodies and persons to enable the determination of a new minimum wage for the nation.
The minister added that the Buhari-led administration was not unmindful of the fact that some state governors are unable to pay the current N18, 000 minimum wage. He, however, appealed to workers for more time and understanding to enable the Federal Government ensure all state governments comply with the yet-to-be announced new minimum wage.
He said: “Memoranda are being received from relevant bodies and persons to enable the determination of a new minimum wage for the nation. By the third quarter of this year, a new minimum wage will be announced for the country.
“Better late than never because some state governors are still owing and cannot pay the current N18,000 minimum wage to workers. That’s why we are ensuring we bring all stakeholders along and announce the new minimum wage at the appropriate time.”
We’ll oppose moves to frustrate new minimum wage —NLC
In his remarks, President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, maintained that the current demand for the review of the current N18, 000 minimum wage was borne out of the current reality of higher cost of living, free-fall of naira, and high cost of goods and services.
He vowed to mobilise workers to resist any attempt to frustrate the current moves to give workers an improved minimum wage.
He said: “Let me use this medium to serve notice to those who seek to slow down and frustrate the process of review of the national minimum wage that they will be resisted in like manner as our predecessors did.”
Intensify participation in political arena, Jega tells workers
The immediate past chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, in his lecture, entitled: “Labour, Politics, and Governance in Nigeria,” described trade unionism as a potent tool for conscientising the Nigerian people on the need to be liberated from all forms of exploitation and domination.
He said in the past 40 years, the journey for the protection and advancement of the collective interests of the Nigerian workers as well as the overall interest of the Nigerian people has been smeared with the sweat and blood of trade unionists who pursued a vision of national liberation more than contribution to national development.
Jega argued that it was necessary for the labour movement and the working peoples of Nigeria to intensify participation in electoral processes, policy and legislation making processes, economic arena, and partnership with credible civil society.