Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeLabour and ProductivityMinimum Wage: Labour protest at NASS Over Removal From Exclusive List To...

Minimum Wage: Labour protest at NASS Over Removal From Exclusive List To Concurrent list

Legislative activities at the National Assembly was today crippled due to a massive protest by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over plans by the National Assembly to amend the National Minimum Wage Act.

The protest which started at the Unity Fountain with protesters who are members of organized labor were seen carrying placards with various inscriptions such as ” On National Minimum Wage We Stand”, “No To Minimum Wage On Concurrent List”, “Yes To Minimum Wage On Exclusive List”.

Speaking at the protest, the President Nigeria Labour Congress Comrade Ayuba Wabba who led the protest, said minimum wage issues is not something to be toyed with. He insisted that workers who create the wealth of the nation deserves a fair minimum wage.

He recalled that Preesident Buhari submitted the agreement for the payment of the thirty thousand naira to workers after long deliberation with the government and expressed disappointment on the way that minimum wage is being tolled with.

The protesters carried placards with inscription such as ‘removing national minimum wage from the Exclusive to the Concurrent list is a declaration of war on Nigerian workers”.

Others are, ‘national minimum wage is our right, don’t decentralise workers wages”, ‘President Buhari, no room for fifth columnists, stand with Nigeria workers, keep minimum wage on exclusive list”, among others.

Wabba said: ”The bill that seeks to remove the National Minimum Wage from the Exclusive list to the Concurrent list is not acceptable.

”The issue of National Minimum wage is a standard signed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the ILO is the first agency of the United Nations formed in 1919 after the First World War, so it has the powers of the United Nations.

”The National Minimum Wage is not a Nigerian Standard but International standard. In the countries of the world, over 33 Federating Nations including United States of America have their Minimum Wage in the Exclusive list.

“Currently, the Minimum Wage of USA is $10per hour and President Biden has already announced plans to initiate an upward review of the minimum wage to $15per hour.

”How can we degenerate to remove the issue that workers have earned through hard labour for forty years overnight? The problem of Nigeria, we have said in essence, is the issue of good governance.

“That is why we are here. There are all well documented in the documents that we will present to the leadership of the National Assembly, ” he said.

Wabba, however, said that workers had given the leardership of organised labour the mandate to declare nationwide strike if the right thing was not done.

The NLC president said: ”we know that the State Governors collect the same salary across the country. States and National Assemblies collect the same salaries across the country, so as the Counselors.

”So, why is the case of workers different, if it is the issue of ability to pay?

”Governors also collect humongous amount as security votes that has not been used to address security challenges in Nigeria.

”If we address this, we will have enough to pay the minimum wage. It’s a national benchmark.

”If the private sectors can pay, the government has more responsibility to the citizens than the highest private sector,”he said.

On his part, the TUC President, Mr Quadri Olaleye called on the National Assembly to leave by example.
According to Olaleye, leadership by example is the best.

‘If the National Assembly must take that decision, all the executives should go back to their Local Government to collect their salary according to their local government revenue generation,”he said.

He however, presented a protest letter to the House of Representatives through the Majority Leader, Hon. Hassan Doguwu.

Speaking, the Majority Leader, Hon. Hassan Doguwa, while receiving the protest letter on behalf of the Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila commended the organised labour leadership for expressing their grievances in the right quarter.

”I want to say that we have accepted the letter presented to us by the organised labour and i want to assure you that we will give it the right treatment.

“We will also provide the window for the people to come and present their grievances through the public hearing.

”That presentation of that bill is only a prosposal and with what i am seeing now, it appears to me that the leadership of organised labour are against that bill.

“If you are against that bill, you are right and you have every reason to be against that bill.

”I want to assure that the House of Representative will see and give listening ears to your grievances. We will still invite you to come and engage with relevant commitees to make your position.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments