Minimum Wage: Labour urges FG to finalise salary adjustment

Comrade Ayuba Wabba

The Organised Labour has called on the Federal Government to quickly finalise the salary adjustment and implementation of the new National Minimum Wage for workers in the country.

Mr Ayuba Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said this at 2019 May Celebration on Wednesday in Abuja.

The theme of the May celebration is “Another 100 Years of Struggle for Jobs, Dignity and Social Justice in Nigeria”.

“We urge the government to quickly finalise the new national minimum wage salary adjustment across the payroll of civil and public servants.

“We have already wasted a lot of time arriving at the new national minimum wage, we should not waste a single more second implementing the new national minimum wage across board.

“We urge workers to remain vigilant till total victory is won,‘’ he said.

He noted that the recent struggle for a new national minimum wage of N30,000 had been one of the most arduous and long drawn in the country.

The NLC president commended labour leaders for mobilising workers during the different campaigns for a new wage.

“We recognise the solidarity of some of our Comrades and friends of Labour in the National Assembly who stood by us throughout the struggle for a new national minimum wage.

“We acknowledge the efforts of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for easing social dialogue between us and the government while this process lasted.

“We also applaud President Muhammadu Buhari for being a promise keeper.

“He promised to sign the minimum wage into law and even after securing a second term in office, kept true to his promise by assenting to the new national minimum wage bill.

“That was another demonstration of labour-friendliness by Mr President. We will recall that it was President Muhammadu Buhari who asked state Governors “how do you sleep at night when you have not paid the salaries of workers?”

He, however, called on employers of labour and the three tiers of Government to promptly remit all contributory pension deductions to workers’ Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).

Wabba expressed disappointment over the withholding of Contributory Pensions deduction by employers.

According to him, incidences of unlawful and illegal withholding of contributory pension deductions from workers’ salaries and not remitting same to their PFAs still abound.

“In Ogun State, deductions from workers’ salaries were unjustly withheld for close to one hundred and five months.

“It took the mobilization of workers in Ogun State and beyond to make the State Government budge.

“We will never allow such unjust treatment of workers and infractions on their rights to linger that long.

“The unpleasant situations where workers retire from public service and are forced to wait for several months for their pension benefits to be processed still persist.”

He said the lethargic and non-payment for those who are already pensioners, especially by state governments, continue to militate against the smooth operation of pension administration in our country,‘’ he said.

He also noted that some states still owed their workers and pensioners salaries and pension in arrears.

“Some states owe pensioners many months of pension arrears despite the bailout funds, budget support fund, and the Paris debt refund.

“The inhumane treatment of pensioners has exposed many of our senior citizens to unnecessary hardship.

“Many of them have gone down with avoidable ailments and even died untimely while waiting for their pension allowances.

“This situation is deplorable and sends wrong signals to workers still in active service,‘’ he said.