Without National Law On Minimum Wage, There Will Be Anarchy – NLC

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it will not back down in its pursuit to ensure that the minimum wage bill is thrown out of the National Assembly.

A lawmaker, Garba Datti Datti had through a sponsored bill at the House of Representatives initiated a move to remove the powers to negotiate the minimum wage from the Federal Government.

The bill which has passed its second reading in the Green Chamber stirred organised labour against the national lawmakers in the country with the workers union threatening to embark on a nationwide protest if the bill is not discarded.

Speaking on the highly sensitive matter, the Deputy President of the NLC, Amaechi Asugwuni said the issue of wage is a prioritized scheme.

Comrade Asugwuni who on Thursday was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily said not having a national law on the minimum wage will lead to anarchy.

He was of the opinion that the decentralization of the minimum wage bill “removes the rights of workers to collectively bargain”.

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage: Protesting Workers Force Their Way Into National Assembly

NLC’s deputy president says the union will not back down till the proposed minimum wage bill is thrown out of the National Assembly.

 

Asugwuni vowed that the NLC will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the Nigerian workers are not deprived of their rights to a fair wage for their services.

The NLC deputy president boasted that the union has got a robust response from a majority of the House, noting that there is a long list of legislators who have promised to ensure that the bill does not see the light of day.

According to him, Labour will follow whatever engagement is required to enable the bill to be thrown out.

“Labour will be abiding by the rules but these engagements that will allow the bill to be knocked out will be held,” Asugwuni stated.

He further argued that the national minimum wage is a plus and an achievement of democracy as secured by the nation. Adding that nothing must be done to jeopardize an already achieved establishment that will better the welfare of Nigerians.

Minimum Wage: NLC Stages Nationwide Protest

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Wednesday staged a nationwide protest over proposed amendments to the minimum wage for Nigerian workers. 

This protest which is being coordinated from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, is said to be holding following attempts by some lawmakers at the National Assembly to remove the Minimum Wage from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List.

Members of the organised labour from various members organisations arrived at the venue for the take-off of the protest in various states, most bearing placards with different inscriptions.

The National President of Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba while addressing the workers at the Unity Fountain in Abuja stated that the right of Nigerian workers to enjoy the minimum wage which is in line with the International Labour Organisation.

READ ALSO: You Have Two Months To Surrender Your Arms, Zamfara Governor Warns Bandits

The leadership of Labour leads members of the NLC and its affiliates on a protest match in Abuja.

 

He described as shameful, the attempt by some State Governors and members of the National Assembly to short-change the workers.

Wabba says the Bill being sponsored by Garba Datti Muhammad ( APC: Kaduna) to amend the minimum wage law must be resisted.

According to him, such an amendment will leave the Nigerian workers at the mercies of State governors whom he says will be paying workers whatever the decision.

The NLC Chairman says rather than seek to reduce the salaries of civil servants, the salaries of political officers including that of the legislators be cut down.

NLC and its affiliates on Wednesday demanded the withdrawal of a bill that would remove the National Minimum Wage from the exclusive to the concurrent legislative list.

Two weeks ago, the House of Representatives introduced the bill which according to the sponsor, Hon. Garba Mohammed would allow both the Federal and state governments to freely negotiate a minimum wage with their workers in line with the nation’s federal system, a move which the protesting workers say does not work in their favour.

 

NLC Stages Protest At Corporate Affairs Commission HQ In Abuja

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has staged a protest at the Corporate Affairs Commission’s (CAC) Headquarters in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory. 

According to the union, the picketing was held over alleged anti-labour matters.

The NLC is accusing the CAC management of clamping down on union members who challenged anti-workers policies.

READ ALSO: Decision To Lift 100 Million Nigerians Out Of Poverty Not By Accident, Says Buhari

However, the Trade Union Congress and the NLC are divided on the issue, and this resulted in a clash between members of the unions.

TUC had on Tuesday held a news conference, warning that they will resist the picketing by the Nigeria Labour Congress, but the NLC says it plans to picket the CAC for three days and will not back down.

Shelved Strike: APC Hails FG, Organised Labour On Truce

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended Monday’s shelved nationwide strike following the federal government’s successful brokering of an agreement with the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on the increase in electricity tariff and the price of fuel.

In a statement by its deputy national publicity secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena, the APC said the welcome and positive development is in line with the proven pro-people stance of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration which has always put the welfare and interest of the masses first in policy decisions and implementation. Indeed, the shelved strike is a victory for the Nigerian masses.

“The federal government is temporarily suspending the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments by DISCOs to allow for an all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations, evidence of the government’s pro-people stance.

“Again, to reduce the cost of petrol, the federal government and labour agree on the urgency to rehabilitate the nation’s refineries and increase our local refining capacity so as to reduce the overdependency on costly importation of refined petroleum products.

READ ALSO: Uduaghan Dumps APC, Returns To PDP

“To cushion the impacts of the downstream sector deregulation and electricity tariffs adjustment on the Nigerian masses, the federal government is among others implementing palliatives which can be easily assessed by Nigerian workers and financed from the Economic Sustainability Programme Intervention Fund with subsequent provision for 240,000 under the auspices of NLC and TUC for participation in agricultural ventures through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Also, agreed is the removal of tax on minimum wage to cushion the impacts of the policy on the vulnerable; immediate provision to organized labour of 133 CNG/LPG driven mass transit buses; 10% housing allocation to Nigerian workers under the ongoing Ministry of Housing and Finance initiative through the NLC and TUC, among others.

“The President Buhari government has made solid commitments to rechannel saved national resources from the stopped fuel subsidy and deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector to other critical sectors such as infrastructure, health and education. The APC calls on all well-meaning Nigerians and stakeholders to cooperate, partner and monitor the implementation of these commitments and agreements reached by the federal government and organised labour,” the statement read in part.

The party welcomed President Buhari’s transmission of the ‘much-awaited’ Petroleum Industry Bill 2020 to the National Assembly.

According to the party, there is no doubt, the PIB will provide the necessary legal framework to the long-sought reforms and ongoing deregulation of the petroleum sector in the country.

NGF To Hold Emergency Virtual Teleconference Ahead Of NLC Planned Strike

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

Ahead of the threat by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to resort to an industrial action to force the Federal Government to rescind its decision to hike oil and electricity prices in the country, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has resolved to hold an emergency meeting of all the governors.

The aim of the meeting is to seek ways of settling the rift between the government and the NLC,  as well as to find a mutually agreed soft landing on amicable grounds.

This was disclosed in a communique late on Wednesday, by Mr. Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, spokesman for the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat.

According to the statement, all governors are expected to attend the meeting.

The Director-General of the Forum, Mr. Asishana Bayo Okauru stressed that the matter is considered to be of urgent national importance, which needs to be quickly resolved in order not to worsen the already bad situation of Nigerians as caused by the Corona Virus pandemic.

The meeting which is the first NGF emergency virtual teleconference starts at 6 pm. Tomorrow, Thursday, September 25.


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Kogi Govt. To Prosecute Workers Indicted By Staff Screening Committee

The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has vowed to prosecute workers indicted by the Staff Screening Appeal Committee set up by the State Government, to verify genuine and non genuine workers.

Governor Bello who stated this while receiving the final report of the screening exercise from the Chairman of the Committee in Government House Lokoja, said his administration has zero tolerance for corruption.

The 36 man staff complaint appeal committee was saddled with the responsibility to attend to public servant who which to appeal the decision of the screening review and complaint committee was inaugurated by Governor Bello on January 26 2017.

At the banquet hall of the Government House, are top government officials, Heads of Ministries and Parastatals, Labour leaders and their officials, Representative of Security Agency in the state and the committee members.

While appealing to the Governor to temper justice with mercy, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Chairman said the labour would hold a meeting and come out with their position.

Governor Bello who faulted the workforce said their lack of cooperation is what extended the screening which would have been done within a short time with the staff verification exercise coming to an end.

Osun Assembly To Begin Probe Of Aregbesola Over 34.5bn Naira Bailout Fund

Osun-State-House-of-AssemblyThe Osun State House of Assembly has directed some officials of the state government and organisations to appear before it on Wednesday for questioning on how the 34.5 billion Naira bailout fund given to state by the Federal Government was used.

The planned probe followed the decision of the Senate to commence similar probe.

There have been allegations of misappropriation against the Governor of the south-west Nigerian State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola.

Those invited to appear before the Osun State House of Assembly are the Accountant-General, Permanent Secretaries Ministry of Finance, Office of Budget Planning and Ministry of Local Government.

Others are the Director-General of Debt Management Office and officials of Wema Bank, Zenith Bank and First Bank.

Also invite to be part of the proceeding are Chairmen, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), Nigeria Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE), Market Women, as well as representative of Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and Civil Society Organisations (CSO).

A statement by the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, urged the invitees to arm themselves with all the necessary information and document on the bailout fund given to the state.

Mr Oyintiloye explained that the exercise had become very necessary in line with its constitutional powers, as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.

He said those invited were expected to appear before the House with useful documents and necessary information concerning the bailout fund given to the state government.

The federal Government had given bailout funds to states to enable them meet some financial obligations, especially payment of workers salaries.

FG Dismisses Proposed Sale Of Assets As ‘Mere Speculation’

lai-mohammed on CorruptionThe Federal Government has described as mere speculation, talks of a proposed sale of national assets for the purposes of getting Nigeria out of recession, saying government is ‎yet to take a decision on the matter.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting, the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said it was only discussed and endorsed as a Medium Term Expenditure Framework and remains a suggestion but not a solution decided upon by government to rebound the economy.

Contrary to reports that government has already listed conditions that must be met before the sale of certain national assets, top among them the insertion of a buy-back clause in the assets sales agreements, the Information Minister says government is yet to reveal elaborate plans to take the country out of recession.

The National Economic Council headed by Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo had last Thursday proposed and endorsed plans to sell some national assets, in line with government’s target to raise between ten to fifteen billion dollars to revamp the economy, following the drop in the nation’s monthly foreign earnings to about three hundred million dollars.

The proposed sale was swiftly rejected by the Senate in a thorough debate at its plenary, just as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) threatened to embark on mass protest against the proposed sale.‎‎

The Federal Executive Council meeting also approved three memos; the National Water Policy, the National Irrigation Policy and a draft National Water Resources Bill all aimed at tackling the numerous water challenges in the country.

The Water Resources Minister, Mr Suleiman Adamu, is positive that the three bills and policy will help Nigeria bridge the gap in the sector and enhance Nigeria’s current agricultural production agenda and the National Irrigation Policy Roadmap 2030.

Nasarawa Organised Labour Suspends Strike

Tanko Al-Makura, Nasarawa, LabourThe Nasarawa State organised labour has suspended it’s over two months strike.

The strike was prompted by a salary cut implemented after a recommendation from a Salary Review Committee.

The suspension was disclosed to journalists by the Nigeria Labour Congress Chairman, Mr Abdullahi Adeka, at the Labour House in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.

According to Mr Adeka, with this suspension, workers are expected to resume work immediately pending when a consensus is reached between them and the government.

Alleged Murder: FG Urges NLC To Suspend Nationwide Protests

Chris Ngige, Labour Minister, NLC Strike
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Sen. Chris Ngigie.

The Federal Government on Wednesday directed the labour unions to suspend all protests to allow for negotiations.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Sen. Chris Ngigie, at a meeting with labour leaders in Abuja said a meeting has been scheduled to hold next week to resolve the impasse.

Ahead of that meeting however, the Minister advised states to adhere to existing labour laws when dealing with issues that affect workers’ salaries and their working hours.

This is coming after protests by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) against salary cut and the death of their colleagues in Nasarawa State.

Though the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had asked the NLC and its affiliates to refrain from embarking on its planned protest in Nasarawa State, the National body of the NLC staged a nationwide protest over the alleged killing of their colleagues in Nasarawa by security personnel.

The protest saw labour members wear a black hand band to mourn the deceased workers who were killed on July 29.

TUC Issues Ajimobi 5-Day Ultimatum Over Unpaid Salaries, Pensions

Ajimobi, Oyo State, Unpaid Salaries, TUCThe Oyo State chapter of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has issued a five day ultimatum to the state government to immediately offset a backlog of unpaid salaries, pensions and other arrears for 8 months.

Chairman of the TUC in Oyo State, Comrade Emelieze Andrew, issued this warning in Ibadan during a chat with journalists following the expiration of a grace period of 15 days.

The Union noted that the recent agreement between Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Oyo State Government is unacceptable, describing the alliance as unholy.

Comrade Emelieze further emphasized that the agreement to end the 7-week old strike was not a true reflection of the yearnings of the various unions involved in the struggle.

The TUC therefore stated that it would mobilise its people to begin an indefinite mass action if government remains adamant.

This 2nd ultimatum is coming barely a week after the NLC suspended a 7-week industrial action across the state over unpaid wages and related issues.

FG Inaugurates Committee To Look Into Lingering Labour Issues

Chris Ngige, Labour Minister, NLC Strike
Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, will Chair the 16-man committee.

The Federal Government has set up a 16-man Technical Committee to look into the grievances and other labour issues arising from the recent increase in the pump price of petrol.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ingige, who is also the Chairman of the Committee told journalists at the inauguration that the committee will take decisions over the issues of a new minimum wage and palliative measures of the federal government to cushion the effects of the pump price increase.

Members of the committee are drawn from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and representatives of the federal government.