• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Labour doubts implementation of new minimum wage in May

TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifo

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has dismissed the likelihood of state governors collaborating with the Federal government to implement a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers in May, 2024.

Following a National Executive Council meeting, TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifo, expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of progress in negotiations on a new minimum wage with the Federal government.

Osifo highlighted the failure of some states in the Niger Delta region, which received substantial allocations from the Federation Account, to fulfil their obligations of paying the wage awards or providing palliatives to their workers. Specifically, he called out Delta, Imo, and Benue states as the primary offenders.

Criticizing the approach of certain state governors towards fulfilling wage obligations and distributing palliatives, Osifo said, “There is no denying the economic hardship we are facing today. At the federal level, we engaged the Federal Government, as you are aware, since last year, leading to the signing of the communique on October 2, 2023.”

“And after that communique was signed, we also empowered our respective state councils to follow up with their state government to ensure two things. One, put in place palliative. Palliative is for the immediate, palliative is not a permanent solution to the economic downturn that we are facing today as a country, palliative could solve immediate challenges, but it will not be able to meet them in the long run. Palliative cannot solve our problems.

“So that is why we were also yearning for a sustainable and robust solution, a solution that would meet the yearnings of the Nigerian workers and indeed the Nigerian masses because that is why the governments are elected from the federal to the local government level.

“We collated report across the various states in the country and, in that report, we could see that some states have been doing well in terms of payment of wage awards, in terms of putting palliatives in place and in terms of putting in place a more robust and a substantive solution to solving the issues that we have today as a country.

“Some of these states that are worthy to be mentioned are Borno, Oyo, Lagos, Kaduna, Rivers, Yobe, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, and the Federal Capital Territory.

“But we have some states that have done nothing. Even some states in the Niger Delta that are receiving over N20 billion per month, have literally done nothing to solve the economic challenges of today and also put in place a sustainable solution for tomorrow.

“And top on that list is Benue, the state has done nothing for the workers. Benue State has done nothing for the masses as well. Nothing has been done in Benue.

“And also, there is Anambra State. We were a bit surprised because we felt that if that state is being led by an economist, he should be able to put on his thinking cap.

“Delta tops the list of states that collect fat allocation from the Federation Account. Delta is number one on that list. It is surprising to know that the Delta State governor is doing nothing to uplift the plight of workers.”