Strike looms as FG fails to meet deadline on minimum wage
HARUNA ISA (Damaturu)
Labour unions in the country threaten to shut down the nation’s economy if federal government fails to forward a bill for the implementation of N30,000 new minimum wage to the National Assembly by December 31, 2018
The federal government gives no indication that it has not forwarded any executive bill to the National Assembly on the issue.
The organised labour refuses to back down on its demands, insisting that it will commence a nationwide strike on January 9, 2019, following the expiration of its deadline to the government.
There are fears that the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) may shut down the economy over the failure of the federal government to meet its December 31, 2018, deadline for the commencement of the implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage.
Newsmen gathered that the labour unions in the country had threatened to shut down the nation’s economy if federal government fails to forward a bill for the implementation of N30,000 new minimum wage to the National Assembly by December 31, 2018.
But the federal government has given no indication that it has forwarded any executive bill to the National Assembly on the issue.
However, the organised labour has refused to back down on its demands. The general secretary of NLC, Peter Ozo-Eson on Monday, December 31, 2018, insisted that labour would commence a nationwide strike on January 9, 2019, following the expiration of its deadline to the government.
“You will hear from us. All that we have announced is that on the 8th of January, there will be a national rally across the country. What will follow next you will hear from us, the general secretary of NLC, Peter Ozo-Eson said on December 31, 2018.
“When we gave the ultimatum, the announcement in Lagos was if by the 31st the bill has not been sent to the National Assembly, we will not be held responsible for the industrial situation that will emerge so we will announce what steps as we go on but clearly through the NLC community after its NEC you will find that we specifically fixed 8th of January for national protest across the country.”
Meanwhile, Nigerian governors have reiterated their rejection of the payment of N30,000 as minimum wage, insisting that they had other competing needs to contain with and would therefore not use more than 50% of their income for settling workers.
In a statement signed by the spokesman for the NGF, Abdulrazque Bello-Barkindo, on Monday, December 31, the Nigerian Governor’s Forum (NGF), made it clear that they would have paid the N30,000 but regretted their inability to do so due to what they described as ‘times are hard’ and because of financial constraints and other limitations that have tied the hands of many states.
The statement, which was was in response to a claim by the NLC that governors were simply refusing to pay the new wage and that those who diverted billions shelled out by the federal government as bailout funds should be probed.