The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the Federal Government to inform workers in the country their position on the implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage instead of the delay currently being witnessed.
The labor union while describing the delay as deliberate and frustrating, noted that leaders of the union are having a difficult time to convince workers on reasons for the delay in the implementation by the government.
The Federal Government had on May 14 inaugurated the relativity/consequential adjustment committee which in turn set up a technical sub-committee to work out the template for the adjustment of salaries of public service employees.
However, last week talks between the government and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council on the implementation ended in a deadlock as both parties failed to reach an agreement
The NLC chairman in Ekiti State, Kolapo Olatunde who spoke during an interview with reporters in Ado-Ekiti said they would not back out on their agitation for better and improved welfare packages for workers in the country.
He disclosed that government must show more commitment to the implementation of the new minimum wage by working out modalities on how they would reduce all unnecessary spending, noting that what most political office holders are taking as salaries are extremely high compared to the workers.
NLC chairman said, “the delay is portraying labour leaders in a bad light to the workers. However, instead of the government to keep quiet, they should come out with what it is in their mind. Are they ready to do the needful? It is frustrating when some people are taking home what is grossly inadequate as salary and some are taking huge amount of money.
“I just read that the President is taking N24 million, the vice president talking about N22 million home, while senators are taking about N36 million home. You can see the clear disparity between all these and workers in Nigeria. If this could not be corrected, I want to believe this was why workers are really agitating at this time.
“The Federal Government if they don’t want to increase the minimum wage, they ought to have come out and done the needful. There are some that are taking more than necessary as salaries in this country where some are not taking anything and don’t forget all of us are facing the same market. Instead of keeping quiet, the Federal Government should have come out with a policy that will help Nigeria, we can’t continue like this. If nothing positive is done, we are not going to go back on it. Workers should be given the dues that could take them home.”
Olatunde who lamented that many traders have increased prices of their goods in the market since the new minimum wage bill was signed into law in April pleaded with the government to consider the plight of Nigerian workers.
“As a result of the new minimum wage, the market price is on the high side. People think we have started receiving it and therefore the earlier, the best. This thing is delaying too much and I want to believe they will do the needful this month as promised by the minister of Labour,” he said.