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May Day: Workers ask for improve social amenities, wage implementation

Nigerian workers on Monday advised the Federal and State Governments to provide amenities that would make life better for citizens as they ensure implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage.

NLC, TUC
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Waba (4l) flanked by other Labour leaders during the rally to create awareness on the new Minimum Wage for workers organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress at the Federal Capital territory, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

The workers from different sectors of the economy commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the minimum wage bill in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.

The workers spoke on their expectations ahead of the 2019 May Day celebration which characterised the struggles of workers around the world since May 1, 1904.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on April 18, signed the N30, 000 national minimum wage bill for workers into law.

Mr Isaac Aruehi, a senior civil servant told Newsmen that workers both at the federal and state government levels should ensure implementation of the new minimum wage.

Also read: Minimum wage not living wage, N30,000 will cause chaos – Tony Momoh

Aruehi said that all levels of government should realise that “the welfare of the people are the reasons why government exists’’.

”The purpose of governance is to provide adequate security for lives and property as well as ensure opportunities for job creation.

”The government must take steps to ensure that it provides decent and cheap houses, water, constant electricity, quality education, good road networks and affordable medical care,” he said.

Aruehi said that public office should not be an avenue to loot funds, treasury or divert money into private account because the consequences would be for some people to be involved in crime.

Also, Prince Williams Akporeha, President, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), advised the government to focus on how to deepen good governance and restrain from fiscal wastages.

According to Akporeha, there is no state in the country that does not have the capacity to conveniently implement the N30, 000 Minimum Wage.

He called on public and private employers of labour to ensure that the newly approved wage was implemented without delay.

Mr Olorunfemi Ayola, a food and beverage worker, also hailed the President for signing the bill but advised against collecting it through VAT increase.

Ayola said that any increase in tax would destroy the little benefit supposed to be received from the new minimum wage.

He urged the President to ensure that the populace received soft landing in financial related issues for them to reap the benefits of the administration.

Recall that the three labour groups met on Dec. 20, 2018, and gave the government an ultimatum of Dec. 31 to forward the tripartite committee report on N30, 000 minimum wages to the National Assembly.

The organised labour on Jan. 8, held a nationwide sensitisation protest as the government failed to submit the report on the expected date.

The government met with labour again on Jan. 9 and agreed that the technical committee report would be handed to the lawmakers on Jan. 23.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Jan. 9 inaugurated a technical committee to help find ways of implementing the agreed new wages without disrupting the nation’s development plans.

On Jan. 29, the House of Representatives approved N30, 000 well above the N27, 000 sent to it by President Buhari as the new minimum wage.

Nigeria last reviewed its minimum wage in 2011, when former President Goodluck Jonathan reviewed the pay from N7, 500 to N18, 000.

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