Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The labour movement in Nigeria has charged state governors to implement the new National Minimum Wage signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
The President of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and Deputy President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Dr. Nasir Idris, stated this in Abuja yesterday, at a pre-May Day sensitisation rally.
The theme of the Pre-May Day Rally tagged “March for Jobs, Labour Rights and Shared Prosperity,” was organised by the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
According to him, “we are calling on the governors to put machinery in place to ensure that they implement the N30,000 minimum wages for workers in the country.
“The NLC and TUC will not condone any governor that failed to implement it for his workers.
“We want to assure workers that any governor that refused to implement the new minimum wage for workers, we are going to make the state unbearable for him.
“We will do anything humanly possible and we are going to use our might and strength to ensure that they implement that minimum wage,’’ he said.
Idris called on the management of the Federal Capital Territory Administration to set the ball rolling for the implementation of the new minimum wage.
Also, NLC Deputy President, Mr. Najeem Yashin, said the rally was to sensitise workers on the May Day celebration and why they should come out en masse to celebrate the day.
Yashin said that on May celebration the labour movement would be calling on the federal government and the State government to ensure that the new minimum wage was implemented to the letter.
“We will also be calling on the federal government to create more jobs for our teeming youth in the country,‘’ he said.
Speaking, President, Civil Service Union of Nigeria,
Mr. Lawrence Amechi, said the march became necessary as the Pre-May Symposium was suspended.
“The march is important because we have suspended May Day Symposium; so, we decided to do this march so that many of our people will be aware that we want them to come out en masse on May 1.
“We have decided to go round Abuja to awaken workers consciousness, which is what we have done today and we are happy that the turnout is very impressive. We also want to use this opportunity to urge the state governors to immediately start the implementation of the minimum wage.
“Because President Muhammadu Buhari has signed it into law on April 18, and the effective day is April so we are already in arrears of few days.
“So, by the end of May, we expect that every worker will go home with the salary, in fact, most of the problem that we are having are with the state governors and we have asked them to cut down their excesses and pay the new wage,‘’ he said.
Amechi, however, added that any state that refuses to pay would face the full wrath of the union.
“So, by the end of May, if no governor has paid the minimum wage and the arrears cumulatively, it is going to be war between labour and that particular government and we hope that they will do the needful,‘’ he said.