Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to order a major wage review given the considerably weakened value of the Naira against all currencies of the world making the cost of living unreasonably difficult for workers and ordinary Nigerians.
The congress also urged the president to as a mark of goodwill direct the payment of withheld salaries of members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities
In a statement signed by the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba last night on the outcome of the National Administrative Council (NAC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), he said there is difference between the national minimum wage review and general wage review which is to address the impact of inflationary trend on workers’ take home pay.
He said: “On our part as a pan Nigerian, progressive, pro-masses, and pro-poor organisation, we would not fold our hands and watch Nigerians being taken advantage of in any manner. We call on those whose work it is to provide Nigerians access to affordable public services, amenities and utilities to undertake their responsibilities with utmost diligence and patriotism. Nigerian workers and citizens are not slaves.
“They deserve tolerable and indeed decent living conditions in order for them to continue to make contributions to the arduous task of nation building. In light of this, we would want this statement to be a message to all those involved in these mischiefs and evil that we are mobilising our members across the country for a major protest.
“In the interim, we wish to call on government to effect a major wage review given the considerably weakened value of the Naira against all the currencies of the world making the cost of living unreasonably difficult for workers and ordinary Nigerians. We find it necessary to explain here that there is a world of difference between the national minimum wage review and general wage review”.
NLC said it was important to remind the federal government that the last public sector wage review was done in 2011 and has since expired, adding that the need for another review cannot be overstated given the excruciating economic realities in Nigeria today.
NLC also called on President Buhari to as a man of goodwill direct the payment of all withheld salaries of university workers. According the NLC, “The affected university workers are finding it difficult to cope with the prevailing economic challenges in the country”.
NLC further express worry over the lingering queues at most petrol stations across the country, urging the federal government to do something urgently to address it before it degenerates into a major crisis.
It also observed the hitches in the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and asked the commission to take measures to ensure that no one is disenfranchised due to the problems being witnessed in the PVC collection process.