The Nigeria Labour Congress has accused the Federal Government of intentionally delaying the constitution of a tripartite committee expected to deliberate on the proposed N56, 000 minimum wage.
The President of the NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, warned that Nigerian workers would not wait indefinitely for the government to constitute the crucial committee in view of the harsh economic situation in the country and its effect on workers. Wabba made the comment while speaking at the opening session of the 4th National Gender Conference of the NLC in Abuja on Wednesday.
The organised labour had in April 2016 proposed a review of the minimum wage from N18,000 to N56, 000. He said, “Comrades, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, as you must have heard, we have also submitted a request for an upward review of the national minimum wage, which was signed into law in 2011 by President Jonathan. “Despite the fact that the minimum wage was due for renegotiation after five years, the current administration is dragging its feet in constituting a tripartite committee as it is the practice to negotiate a new minimum wage.
“Against the background of the harsh economic times and the impact on the working people, we cannot wait indefinitely for government to respond at its own time. “Though, we have been told by the administration that the panel will be constituted, we enjoined the government to urgently sort out whatever is the constraint it is facing and act on the matter before we are forced to take actions that may be unpleasant.” Wabba said most Nigerians, the working class and millions of the unemployed were facing a difficult time because of the recession and the increasing prices of goods and services.
He lamented that some state governors with misplaced priorities had refused to pay workers and pensioners’ salaries. He said the organised labour would continue to engage state governments to ensure that the outstanding arrears of salaries and pension were paid.
BEN TV Lagos