By Gabriel Chy Alonta
The leadership of the union also accused the state governors of conspiring against the implementation of the new minimum wage, while urging members to brace up in their commitment to achieve the new minimum wage, which, according to them, was long overdue.
The National President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who made this assertions during a protest at the Anambra state government house, Awka, by the state workers, reminded workers that it was through struggle and solidarity that victory is assured.
Wabba, represented by the Head of Department, International Relations and Division of Officer to National Assembly, Comrade Uchenna Ekwem, said the new minimum wage was justifiable with view of the economic situation in the country.
According to him, “People are saying that the implementation of the new minimum will cause inflation in the country but it is a blatant lie because even without the increment in salaries, inflation rate had double-risen.
“We cannot take the blackmail that when you increase the salary, inflation will rise. This has revealed the naivety of Nigerian society and that is why I say that workers who are not here are rising against us.
“The ability to pay the new minimum wage is a choice because no nation has enough money to deal with all their problems. This is why we must use scale of preference. Therefore, we want to get the governors commitment that they would comply”.
The NLC boss warned workers of being overly partisan, while assuring them of the support of the national body, even as he described the absented workers as saboteur with questionable commitment.
He faulted governors who are against the implementation of the new minimum wage for the reason of liquidity, calling them to cut their rate of spending and commit themselves to the welfare of Nigerian workers.
“The tripartite negotiation committee made up of the government, organised labour and private sector employers have agreed that N30,000 new minimum wage be paid. Government should emulate private sectors and implement the new minimum wage without further delay.
“The governors should personally communicate their position and workers should remain steadfast and committed. We reiterate our directive to vote out any leader/party that refuse to pay.
“Let the government stop using the threat of mass sack or threat of ‘no work, no pay’ because are ready to use the strategy ‘no pay, no pay’ to counter it”, he stated.
In a remark, the NLC state chairman, Comrade Jerry Nnubia said during the protest and mobilisation on the actualisation of the new minimum wage that freedom comes by struggle, demanding that workers be paid N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.
Nnubia urged state governors to cue into the implementation of the new minimum wage after its enactment by the National Assembly, while reminding them that the workers were willing to exercise their franchise at the polling unit, stressing that governors who fail to comply would be voted out.
Receiving the protesting workers at the state government house in Awka, the governor, Chief Willie Obiano, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, maintained that the state governor was workers friendly, assuring of his commitment to follow suit whatever that is agreed.
Obiano, who said that he was willing to adjust workers salaries, however, did not openly say that he would be implementing the new minimum wage. He reminded the aggrieved union members that Anambra was not part of oil producing state in the country, and added that as a law abiding governor, he is ready to ready to comply if the position is made know to them.
Orient Daily reports that the protest recorded a low compliance as against what was expected.