TUC President Decries Some Northern Governors For Not Paying Minimum Wage

President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Peter Esele, has criticized some northern governors for not implementing the N18,000 agreed minimum wage. This he claimed has been responsible for loss of manpower during strike.

Esele while speaking at a workshop and Labour Day awards organized by Daily Independent Newspaper in Ilorin, noted that no labour union in the world likes organizing strike to make demands adding that the requirement to organise such industrial action are too stressful.

He claimed that only two-third of Governors have implemented the agreed minimum wage with some governors in the north still adamant on not paying the money.

Mr emphasised that the Governor of Plateau state, led the pack in the north.

The labour leader added that if governments at all levels do the right thing by respecting and implementing agreements reached with labour unions, there will be harmony in labour circles.

The Kwara state governor represented by his Special Assistant on Media, Dr Muideen Akorede at the occasion assured of the readiness of the state government to sustain industrial harmony adding that Kwara is one of the first to implement the minimum wage in the country.

NLC Calls Off Planned Strike On Pension Fraud

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has called off its planned protest and industrial action which was scheduled for the 10th of April 2013 across the nation.

The labour group however gave the Federal Government an ultimatum to fulfill all agreements by the end of April or risk an industrial action without any warning.

Addressing journalist in Abuja on Tuesday, the acting president of the congress; Mr Promise Adewusi said the decision of the labour group is in consideration of moves by the Federal Government to sufficiently meet with the demands of the congress and National Union of Pensioners.

Such moves according to Mr Adewusi includes the setting up of a joint committee headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to harmonise payments as well as resolve sundry matters connected with pension payment and administration of pension funds.

He however warned that the industrial action will resume without warning if by the end of April the Federal Government fails to implement all it has promised to do.

According to the labour leader, the Federal Government among other things, accepted to restore the check-off dues of the national union of pensioners which had been withheld for one year.

President Goodluck Jonathan had on Monday ordered the immediate payment of check off dues of pensioners in the country during a meeting he held with the leadership of the the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress and the Nigerian Union of Pensioners at the Presidential Villa.

It also ordered the withdrawal from the court the case between the Federal Government and the union in respect of the pension payment/matters.

The NLC also directed the joint committee to resolve all issues pertaining to the immediate payment of all pension arrears to deserving pensioners, resumption of inconclusive verification exercises of 2010/2011 and a review of pension payment to reflect 53.4 per cent wage increase to workers in 2010 and the payment of the N18,000 minimum wage.

Plateau Workers Suspend 7month Old Strike

Workers in Plateau state have suspended the industrial action they embarked on, in May 2012 over the non-payment of the N18,000 minimum wage.

The strike was suspended after the state government agreed to implement 55 per cent of the minimum wage from June.

The government also agreed to pay salaries of October, November and December immediately.

The two parties also agreed to work together to carry out a biometric screening to ascertain the actual staff strength of the local government areas within two weeks.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, who brokered the agreement between the two parties, expressed hope that the Plateau state government will abide by the terms of agreement.

He urged the government not to witch hunt or victimize any of the workers as a result of their participation in the industrial action.

Workers in plateau state had embarked on an industrial action to protest the non-payment of the N18,000 minimum wage.


Virtually all states in Nigeria are broke…Gov. Aliyu Babangida

The governor of Niger state and former chairman of Governors Forum Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has revealed that all the state governments in Nigeria are unable to meet all their financial obligations as he called for an urgent review of the revenue sharing formula.

Dr Babangida revealed this in a question and answer interview, published by a financial magazine, Economic Confidential, on Sunday.

Responding to a question on how true it is that states in the northern part of the country are financially broke and cannot meet their statutory functions, the governor replied in the affirmative saying “it is not only states in the Northern part of the country that are not in position to meet all their financial obligations; virtually all states in the Federation apart from probably Lagos and states in the Niger Delta areas are in the same boat.”

“In a nut shell I can say categorically that we don’t have enough resources to meet all our obligations to the people that voted us into office,” he quipped.

According to the governor who is also the Chairman of Northern Governor Forum, the introduction of the N18, 000 minimum wage was the major cause of the financial meltdown.

A number of state governments kicked against the wage, citing that a large chunk of their annual budget will go to payment of civil servant’s salary.

“The situation has been compounded by the introduction of a new minimum wage for workers in all the states of the country irrespective of the fact that we are in a federation and the poor internally generated revenue base of most states after the payment of salaries.”

“Most states have little or nothing to use for other projects” he added.

The governor also claimed that the affected states have been looking for other sources of funds to enable them meet their obligations.

“Some states have gone to the capital market to get money to finance capital projects dear to the people while others recourse to loans from commercial banks” he said.

The governor made a case for the review of revenue allocation, noting that the law that established the formula stated that the sharing formula must be reviewed every decade.

“As the case is now there is too much money at the centre (federal government) so we need to change the position because it is in the states and local government areas that we have the people” explained Dr Aliyu Babangida.

“I will still want the revenue allocation formula to be reviewed if for nothing it has outstayed its usefulness especially when it is the law that it should be reviewed every 10 years” he added.

The governor in the interview also called for a close monitoring of revenue generated from the nation’s oil wealth, noting that the oil wealth is “what most of us depend on.”

“Nobody today can tell you the exact amount of money accruing to the country from oil nobody knows the barrel of oil we exporting and at what cost.”

Referring to the revelations made by the House of Representatives probe into the fuel subsidy, as an eye opener into the apparent rot in the sector, the governor called on the federal government to immediately begin the prosecution of those indicted and ensure that amount illegally got is retrieved and given to all arms of government.

Zamfara workers begin strike over minimum wage

Workers in Zamfara on Friday began an indefinite strike to demand full implementation of the new national minimum wage by the State Government.

The Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari

The strike was in response to a directive from the state’s branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), directing the workers to stay at home from Friday, until further notice.

In a radio announcement by the state’s NLC Chairman, Abdullahi Modomawa, the union asked all its members to stay at home “because the State Government has failed us and we have not reached an agreement.”

The strike followed the failure of the State Government’s negotiators and officials of labour to agree on details of the minimum wage.

The workers have insisted that all allowances accruing to workers should be settled, including weighing allowances for media practitioners.

However, the government said that if it would pay the N18, 000 minimum wage, the workers would forfeit all other allowances.

In a swift reaction, the state governor, Abdulaziz Yari, said that he will not hesitate to sack any worker who fails to return to work on Monday.

“I will not beg the workers to return to work and I will not hesitate to stop the salary of any of them who fails to return to his duty post by Monday,” the governor said.

“If there is anyone on the State Government’s pay-roll collecting less than the N18, 000, such worker should come forward and say so; no one can compel me to pay beyond that,” he said.

Mr Yari said since his administration stated implementing the N18, 000 minimum wage, the amount spent monthly on salary had risen from N838 million to N1.33 billion.