Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The organised labour has expressed its resolve to mobilize its members to ensure that states that have not met its December 31 deadline are made to do so without delay.
The labour movement also expressed concern over the handling of the country’s economy, particularly its rising debt profile which it said is becoming a major concern both locally and internationally.
Regarding the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage across the states, the labour movement in its goodwill message to Nigerians signed by its president, Ayuba Wabba, said it will vigorously fight for the nationwide implementation of the new national minimum wage and consequential adjustment.
While commending the states already paying the new national minimum wage and consequential adjustment, it said that the new national minimum wage is now a law and that state governors do not have the luxury to choose whether to pay or not.
“We use this medium to implore states that are yet to implement the new national minimum wage including the states that are yet to begin negotiation with labour on the consequential wage adjustment to speedily do the needful. In tandem with our position as adopted and communicated after a stakeholders’ meeting on December 11, 2019, organized labour in Nigeria will not guarantee industrial harmony in states that fail to implement the new national minimum wage by December 31, 2019. We direct our state councils to be on the standby to robustly engage state governments that fail to obey our laws.
“We wish to remind state governors that no excuse would be good enough for failure to pay,” it said.
On its part, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) urged governors that are yet to start payment to do so without delay.
“Inasmuch as we would not want to disrupt economic activities, we would still not compromise the welfare of our members. A stitch in time saves nine,” it said.
He Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) also regretted government’s inability to institutionalize tripartite consultation among the social partners in Nigeria especially through the institutionalization of the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) despite persistent advocacy by labour and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige.
In 2020, NLC said it will mount a very robust campaign for the generation of mass jobs and for already existing jobs to be decent.
“To this end, the NLC is perfecting plans for a national job summit in 2020. We will get stakeholders: experts, policymakers, concerned demographics and workers on a roundtable to find answers and solutions to Nigeria’s burgeoning unemployment crisis.”
NLC also said that it will continue to work assiduously towards the promotion of national security, peace and unity.
“In 2020, we demand that government must prioritize the security of lives and property. Nigeria has seen enough bloodshed. While we commend the sacrifice and commitment of our soldiers and other security personnel in the war against terrorist insurgency and other violent crimes across Nigeria, we urge government to do all it takes to end the bloodletting and brigandage in different parts of the country.
“As we have always canvassed, the war against insecurity must be anchored on human security. We must feed hungry stomachs. We must create jobs to engage our youths. An idle mind is devil’s workshop,” it said.
NLC further urged the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory Administration to fully comply with pension laws by “ensuring the immediate enactment of enabling laws on Contributory Pension Scheme for states yet to enact same, prompt remittance of both employers and employees contributions to pension fund administrators, actuarial evaluation for retirees whose pension is due and procurement of a Group Life Insurance Policy for workers under the Contributory Pension Scheme.