By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked all the three tiers of government to ensure full implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage latest by the end of October 2019.
It said: “Negotiations for the consequential salary adjustment must be concluded now so that all workers would have a reason to smile at the end of this October.”
Both the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) had last week issued an ultimatum urging the federal government to conclude negotiations on the consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage on or before October 16.
In an address by the President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, to mark the 2019 Decent Work Day in Abuja on Monday, he said that government must keep its promise of putting people first by reversing the ugly trend of wage poverty and extreme inequality.
“Comrades, there cannot be decent work without decent wages. The national minimum wage is the floor for decent wages. We call on all tiers of government in Nigeria to commence full implementation of the N30,000 national minimum wage.
“Also, negotiations for the consequential salary adjustment must be concluded now so that all workers would have a reason to smile at the end of this October,” he said.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s Decent Work Day, “Invest in the Care Economy”, Wabba advocated creating opportunity for work that is socially productive and economically rewarding.
He urged the government to increase its investment on workers so as to generate economic growth, tackle growing demographic challenges and help overcome gender discrimination by mainstreaming women in the economy.
While calling for enhanced labour inspection in factories and plantations, NLC demanded that stringent penalty be applied to all employers who are not conforming with the provisions of the Labour Law.
“We call on the Minster of Labour and Employment to fast-track the promised revitalization of the Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Labour and Employment and reactivation of the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) as an instrument of social dialogue.
“We also call for the immediate adoption of the historic Convention I90 on Gender Based Violence by Nigeria and that immediate necessary steps be taken for its domestication.
“Convention I90 recognizes the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment including gender-based violence and harassment,” he said.
The NLC president also spoke on the implementation of taxation policies by government, saying that tax must be commensurate with income.
“We, therefore, call for tax reforms in a manner that brings more productive people into the tax net, progressive enough to ensure that the rich pay taxes commensurate to their income and responsive enough to ensure that taxes are applied to reduce social inequality,” he said.
The procession that heralded the Decent Work Day saw workers marching through the streets of Abuja — from the NLC headquarters to the office of the minister of the FCT.
The Director of Operations at the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority, Attan Gabriel, received the NLC letter on behalf of the minister.