Over the past week, there have been threats of a national strike by the Nigerian Labour Congress in a bid to pressure the federal government to increase the minimum wage in Nigeria to the proposed N30,000. However, the threats involving the shutting down of airports and petrol stations which caused tension around the country were suspended for reasons which were not fully disclosed until recently.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Enugu State, Comrade Virginius Nwobodo gave a report on Wednesday explaining why labour halted plans to strike despite the delayed implementation of the new minimum wage. He further stated the labour’s plan to ensure states in the country comply with whatever is implemented by the federal government, emphasizing that “There will be no sacred cow when it comes to the implementation of the new minimum wage regardless of whether the state governors agree or not.” The Chairman also went further to clear the doubts of those who are under the impression that the benefit was meant for the federal workers only and not the state since the governors had proposed a different amount. In his words; “I assure you that nothing of such will happen. All workers in Nigeria will be beneficiaries of the new minimum wage and anything aside that will be resisted.”
In giving his report Comrade Nwobodo stated; “I must also commend the National leaders of NLC for deciding to suspend the strike since the tripartite committee had shown interest in convening and concluding their report. “The decision to suspend the strike was the best thing the NLC leadership did because what is the essence of the strike again when our demand that prompted the planned strike had been met. “If we had gone ahead with the strike pending the time the wage would be implemented, Nigerians will see us as insensitive to national issues and causing economic sabotage.”
The Chairman showed optimism that the minimum wage would be fully implemented before the end of the month if the government was serious about salvaging its image, urging that the quick attention employed by the government in addressing the issue be maintained until it is fully implemented. Meanwhile, some state governors have begun to push back on the proposed new minimum wage, asserting that 100% of the state government’s revenue cannot be put into the payment of salaries. President Buhari’s government has, however, debunked rumours that the proposed new minimum wage has been confirmed by the president. Can this new minimum wage be fully implemented on both the federal and state levels in Nigeria?
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