Minimum Wage: Labour Rejects Govt’s Offer, Issues Two-Week Ultimatum

Minimum Wage: NLC Praises Buhari For 'Doing The Needful', Demands Immediate Implementation

 

The leadership of Organized Labour in Nigeria comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have given the Federal Government two weeks to implement the new minimum wage of thirty thousand naira or risks a nationwide industrial action.

In a statement signed by the president of the two unions, the labour leaders accused the government’s negotiating team of complacency.

The statement insists that the delay in implementing the consequential salaries adjustment is caused by the government.

The workers’ unions demanded a reconvening of the negotiation meeting before October the sixteenth, as they can no longer guarantee industrial harmony after the deadline.

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Below is the full statement signed by the two unions.

“NEED FOR URGENT INTERVENTION ON THE STALLED NEGOTIATION OF CONSEQUENTIAL ADJUSTMENT OF SALARIES ARISISNG FROM THE NEW NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE OF N30,000 PER MONTH TO AVERT INDUSTRIAL CRISIS

The leadership of Organized Labour in Nigeria comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) met today, 2nd October, 2019 with the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC-Trade Union Side) at the Labour House, Abuja.
The sole agenda of the meeting was to receive briefing from JNPSNC and to discuss the way forward on the deadlock in negotiations for consequential wage adjustment for workers in public service arising from recent enactment of the new national minimum wage of N30,000. Subsequently, the meeting went into very extensive deliberations around the following concerns;
Organized labour has out of its patriotic disposition demonstrated a great deal of restraint, consideration and patience with government. In the course of negotiations for consequential salary adjustment, organized labour had to moderate its initial position of having 66.6% upward salary adjustment for workers on salary grade level 07 – 17 by accepting an upward adjustment of 29% for officers on salary level 07-14 and 24% adjustment for officers on salary grade level 15 – 17. Despite this patriotic gesture, government has kept insisting that it can only pay 11% for officers on grade level 07 – 14 and 6.5% consequential wage increase to public workers for officers on level 15-17;

Since the last national minimum wage of N18,000, workers have been forced to suffer huge inflation and astronomical hike in the prices of essential goods and services. The following examples would suffice;

The country’s currency, the naira had suffered devaluation from N150 to $1 in 2011 to N360 to $1 in 2019, a depreciation of 140%.
Furthermore, petroleum price has been hiked from N87 per liter to N145 per liter which translates to 60% price increase.
Electricity tariff has been increased by about 60%.
Of recent, the Value Added Tax (VAT) has been reviewed from 5% to 7.2%.

The nonchalant attitude of the government negotiating side has dragged negotiations for consequential wages adjustment unduly. Nigerian workers have exercised tremendous patience and restraint already.
At the end of our deliberation, the leadership of organized labour in Nigeria resolved as follows;

The offer by government for salary adjustment of 11% for public workers on salary grade level 07 – 14 and 6.5% consequential increase for public workers on grade level 15 – 17 is not acceptable to Nigerian workers. We view the position of government as a show of insensitivity to the plight of workers and an attempt to collect with the left hand what government had offered with the right hand;

We demand the reconvening of the meeting of the committee negotiating the consequential adjustment with a view to concluding the process that started on the 28th of May, 2019 within one week;

Entering into an agreement with labour to the effect that salary of officers on grade 07-14 should be reviewed upward by 29% while that of officers on grade level 15-17 should be reviewed upwards by 24%; and

Commence immediate implementation of the signed agreement on consequential adjustment of public workers’ salaries with effect from 18th of April 2019 when the new national minimum wage of N30,000 per month was signed into law.

In conclusion, the leadership of organized labour in Nigeria wishes to categorically state that the leadership of labour cannot guarantee industrial peace and harmony in the country if our demands are not met at the close of work on Wednesday, 16th October, 2019.

Aluta continua… Victoria Ascerta!

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni Comrade Quadri Olaleye
President, NLC President, TUC

Comrade Simon Anchaver Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal
Ag. Chairman, JNPSNC (Trade Union Side) Secretary, JNPSNC (Trade Union Side)

2nd October, 2019”

NLC Holds Protest Over New Minimum Wage Across Nigeria

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday held a nationwide protest over the demand for a new minimum wage.

The protest was held in various part of the country including Abuja, the nation’s capital. NLC President, Ayuba Wabba led the protesting union members at the Labour House in Abuja.

Workers across various states including Lagos, Edo, Kwara, Imo, Ekiti, Anambra, Niger, Jigawa, Kaduna, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, Abia, among others also joined the protest.

According to the NLC, the protest is in reaction to the delay of the executive to transmit the recommendations of the tripartite committee on a new national minimum wage to the national assembly.

The nationwide protest is coming after several months of negotiation between Federal Government representatives led by the Labour Minister Chris Ngige and the leaders of the labour union.

See photos of the nationwide protest below

 

NLC Protest In Abuja


NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, and union members at the Labour House in Abuja on January 8, 2019.

  

 

NLC Protest In Edo



 

NLC Protest In Kwara


 

NLC Protest In Imo

NLC Protest In Ekiti

NLC Protest In Akwa Ibom


 

NLC Protest In Anambra


Nigeria Labour Congress Calls Off Strike

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called off its nationwide strike.

This announcement was made on Sunday by the NLC President Ayuba Wabba.

He said the strike is being called off as a result of the firm and formal assurance of the Federal Government to reconvene the tripartite committee on the new minimum wage.

The  Labour Congress had commenced the nationwide strike on Thursday, September 27.

The NLC President said the industrial action was due to the refusal of the Federal Government to reconvene the meeting of the tripartite committee to enable it to conclude its work on the new national minimum wage.

Minimum Wage: Workers Commence Nationwide Strike

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress has directed all its members and affiliate unions to commence a nationwide strike on Thursday.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the industrial action would commence due to the refusal of the Federal Government to reconvene the meeting of the tripartite committee to enable it to conclude its work on the new national minimum wage.

In Kwara State, civil servants have fully complied with the directive and most of the government establishments are under lock and key.

The state chairman of the Trade Union Congress, Kola Olumoh, appealed to the President to accede to the demands of the labour leaders to prevent a total breakdown of the economy.

Also, in Lagos, Oyo and Niger States, workers have complied with the directive.

In Abuja, public schools are also enforcing the directive, as students were being sent back home from the Government College Garki.

 

 

The organised labour had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government on September 13, to allow the committee to conclude its work.

According to the Labour leaders, the committee commenced work in March 2018 with timelines to deliver on its mandate by August/ September 2018.

They, however, accused the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige of delaying the process of arriving at a new minimum wage which workers had been expecting since 2016.

Bayelsa Civil Servants To Receive Salaries Before Month Ends

Bayelsa Civil Servants To Receive Salaries Before Month EndsDespite the economic situation in the country, Bayelsa State Governor, Mr Seriake Dickson, has assured civil servants in the state of prompt payment of their salaries in 2017.

The Governor gave the assurance during a meeting with the leadership of the organized labour‎ inside the Government House Yenagoa.

He explained that his administration is not interested in owing civil servants and pensioners, and promised that their salaries woulkd hit their accounts before the end of each month.

He, however, informed the labour leaders that should there be any development that will hamper the payment of the full salaries, he would communicate to them with necessary details, praying that such unpleasant situation does not arise.

Dickson thanked the labour leaders for their support and understanding during the period the government paid only 50% of salaries and noted that their refusal to be used by desperate politicians was the hallmark of their patriotism and loyalty to the state.

“I want to thank you, I appreciate the commitment and understanding you have shown. I am very grateful; the government is very happy with our workforce.

Let us all work together so we reposition the service for greater service delivery for people of our state”.

In his remark, the chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) John Ndiomu lauded the Governor for informing them on the latest reforms he is introducing in the civil service and expressed labour’s readiness to always collaborate with the government.

NLC Urges Aregbesola To Pay Balance Of 18 Months Half Salary

Fuel Price, NLC Strike, Abia, Anambra, NLCThe Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) in Osun State has urged the state governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, to pay the outstanding salaries of workers who have been receiving half of their salary since July 2015.

A statement by the NLC chairman in Osun State, Comrade Jacob Adekomi, said the state government was owing workers on Grade Level (GL) 08 and above as well as pensioners for 18 months.

The NLC commended the state governor for paying the salaries of workers in the state up till November and urged the governor to fulfil his promise and pay the balance of the half salaries for the 18 months.

Comrade Adekomi said: “We do not doubt that Mr Governor is a man of his words and he will attend to the balance of the outstanding amount of the salaries of officers on GL.08 as well as the pensioners.

“The outgoing year was challenging for the workers in the state in the face of the grim and unfriendly economic situation due, to the economic recession.

“The development is no doubt sufficient to trigger industrial crises but the perseverance and understanding of workers in the state assured the civil servant that the NLC will pursue the payment of the outstanding balance of the half of their salaries since July 2015”.

However, the Director of the Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor in Osogbo, Osun State, Mr Semiu Okanlawon, was silent on the issue of the payment of the balance of the outstanding of the half-salaries when he announced the modality for the payment of the salaries and pensions of September, October and November from the refunds from the Paris Club loans deductions through the Federal Government.

While workers are still expecting they payment, several protests have been held by pensioners in Osun State, with a demand for full payment of their pensions.

Labour Union To Renew Minimum Wage Demand In 2017

Minimum wageThe Nigeria Labour Congress says it will resume talks with the government on a new minimum wage for workers in 2017.

The President of the labour union, Mr Ayuba Waba, gave the union’s position on the new wage on Monday.

He said: “The government cannot continue to hide under the cover of economic recession and leave the issues of workers welfare unattended to”.

Mr Waba further advised the Federal and States governments to set their priorities aright and attend to issues that affect the welfare of their workers instead of embarking on projects that have no economic effects on the citizenry.

The labour union and its trade union affiliate have proposed a new minimum wage of 56,000 Naira to the Federal Government before the nation’s economy enters the recession.

Members of the union said that a review of the minimum wage was long overdue.

The renewed demand is coming at a time that most Nigerian states are struggling to pay workers the current 20,000 Naira minimum wage.

Most States governors have claimed that reduced allocation from the Federal Government was responsible for their inability to meet their financial obligations to workers and even pensioners.

I Run A Transparent Finance Allocation System, Aregbesola Says

rauf-aregbesolaThe Governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, says his administration has instituted the most transparent financial system in the allocation of resources accruing to the state.

Governor Aregbesola made the claim on Tuesday at a meeting with the management team of a radio station, Rave FM 91.7 in Osogbo, the state’s capital.

He said Osun State had exhibited transparency in its financial system in the disbursement of its resources.

According to him, it is on good record that Osun pioneered the constitution of a committee saddled with the responsibility of assisting the state government in the allocation of state revenue to ensure prompt payment of salaries as well as adequate running of government.

“In our attempt to ensure transparency in our financial dealings, we inaugurated a committee headed by a veteran labour leader in person of Comrade Hassan Sunmonu.

“Other members included the chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress in Osun; Chairman of Joint Negotiating Council, Chairman of Osun’s Nigerian Union of Teachers and government representatives, who are not political appointees,” Aregbesola said.

He stated that the committee was aware of how the bailout funds were disbursed and so there is no way his government could have diverted or fixed the bailout as reported by some media organisations.

“I cannot be found wanting whether in bailout funds or other funds of Osun as we have been creative in the management of the scarce resources to lift the state beyond the limit of the available resources.

“I must also let you know that there is no way we could have diverted the funds, knowing that it was not sufficient for our needs in the first place.

“And this is why Osun has been able to pay its workers till August this year. There is no case of diversion of bailout loan as far as Osun is concerned.

“The bailout was to take care of salaries backlog up till June last year. If anything, the Osun government had demonstrated enough transparency by ensuring that the bailout loan was disbursed with adequate supervision of a committee of labour and government.

“Despite the meager allocations coming from the Federal Government, Osun still pays salary. And nobody bothers to ask how we have been consistent in the payment of modulated salary of about 1.7 billion Naira when the state even once collected as low as six million Naira one time.

“I want to also assure you, contrary to the insinuation being made by our traducers, who claimed we diverted the bailout funds, that nothing of such happened. This is the concoction of a mischievous opposition and their media conspirators,” Aregbesola said.

The governor further said that his administration had come clean of any act of misappropriation thorough layers of safety net in financial transactions.

He disclosed that in addition to the oversight work of Sunmonu-led committee, government equally put labour union working in the bank on a red alert to inform its leaders of any underhand transaction and transfer of fund from the bailout account in the bank.

“So, as to ensure utmost transparency in the disbursement of the bailout fund, we also told labour members working in the bank to watch over the account and report any strange transfer of the fund into any other account.

“Up till today, I have not received any report of such transfer by the labour. At least, the labour leader has not told me anything,” the Governor continued.

He commended the station for its objectivity unlike some sections of the media which thrive on sensationalism instead of objective reportage and investigative journalism.

Aregbesola said false reports portend great danger if what a media house only knows how to do is to concoct falsehood and publish it as news story.

The governor also pointed out that an accusation as weighty as diversion of bailout funds without proper investigation and concrete evidence to back such allegation simply amounts to recklessness in the exercise of freedom of expression.

Ogun Govt. Dismisses NLC Chairman, 15 Others

ogun state, project go-green, demolition, illegal structures
Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State

Ogun State government has approved the dismissal of the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Akeem Ambali, his vice and the State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr Dare Ilekoya, and 14 others.

The dismissal was contained in a report of a panel of inquiry set up to investigate the alleged misconduct of executive members of the NUT on the 2016 World Teachers Day celebration in Abeokuta.

Similarly, 16 officials of the union were also suspended for their roles in the conduct of the celebration.

The recommendations of the panel signed by the Head of Service, Mr Sola Adeyemi, was approved by the state government for immediate implementation.

A source also said the government had set up an administrative panel of inquiry to look into complaints received from concerned members of the public against the affected officers for their alleged involvement in various acts of misconduct and contravention of extant regulations during the celebration.

The NLC chairman, who was until his dismissal a Deputy Director, Community and Social Development in Sagamu Local Government, was alleged to have been the brain behind the political campaign rally during the celebration.

He was said to have made inflammable and scandalous remarks against the state government, which could have triggered a breach of peace in the state.

The workers were dismissed from service having been found guilty of contravening the Public Service Rules 04401, 04421 (c&d) and 04406 (a).

Those dismissed were A.O Oshin, Nola Balogun, Eniola Atiku, Solaru.O, Adebanjo.T, Akinola.A.S, Oyolola .S.A, Obafemi. O.B, Ogunsola Peter, Akinlade.S.A, Christopher.T.A,Ogunrombi A.A, Azeez.K.I and Taiwo A.O.

Those suspended include Odusanya S.A, Comrade Akapo, Adegbesan J.O, Adelami S.I, Obadara O, Ogunnuga O.A, Ayokambi T.A, Tijani A.A, Adegbesan J.O, Idowu A.O, Olaifa O.A, Bayo Lasore, Ahmodu S.A, Oludotun Oliyide, Tijani Y.A, Awode I.A, Dada O.A and Adesanya Abiola.

The state government subsequently directed appropriate agencies of the state including the Ogun State Local Government Service Commission, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) to implement the recommendations with immediate effect.

Labour Gives FG 21 Days To Resolve FMC Owerri Crisis

FMC Owerri, LabourThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have given the Federal Government of Nigeria a 21-day ultimatum to resolve the industrial crisis at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owerri.

The ultimatum is contained in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole.

The unions asked the government to summon the Chief Medical Director of FMC Oweri, Mrs Angela Uwakwem, to answer the cases she has with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

They claimed that her return to the hospital at a time she was being prosecuted by the EFCC was a violation of the civil service rule.

Reacting to the allegation, the Mrs Uwakwem stated that her accusers cannot be the judges in their own case.

The Federal Government had earlier announced her reinstatement as the substantive Medical Director of FMC Owerri, after about 10 months of stepping aside.

The directive for the recall was contained in a statement issued by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.

The government insisted that it has not found Uwakwem guilty of the allegations levelled against her.

The development consequently triggered series of protest by health workers and labour unions at the health institution in Imo State, southeast Nigeria.

The workers vowed not to return to work until their demand was met.

NLC Demands Fair Tax Justice System In Nigeria

NLC, Tax, Nigeria
NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba,

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has demanded a fair tax justice system that will make it mandatory for business organisations to pay tax that is equal to their investment.

The union says at least 50 billion Naira is taken out of Africa annually and that the time to arrest the trend is now.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, believes Africa is being impoverished by the local and multi-national companies which enjoy a tax haven without contributing their profits to the development of the continent.

He urged the Federal Government to reduce the burden of taxation imposed on the average Nigerian worker who ‘compulsorily pays tax regularly’.

Mr Wabba made the call on Wednesday at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, where he led some workers to submit a letter of protest at the Federal Ministry of Finance.

He asked the Nigerian Government to protect Africa’s wealth through an effective tax regime that would provide a tax haven for some people.

The Director of Special Duties at the ministry, Mohammed Dikur, received the protest letter with a promise to ensure it gets to the Minister of Finance.

Labour Union Kicks Against Proposed Sale Of Some National Assess

Issa Aremu on sale of National AssetsA National Executive member of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Issa Aremu, has kicked against the plan by the Federal Government to sell some national assets to finance the country out of economic recession.

Mr Aremu, in a press statement on Monday, cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against what he called “feverish prescriptions of few economic hit men”.

He claimed that the ‘hit men’, contrary to the spirit and content of the 1999 constitution, deliberately undermine national development through recommendations that would strip the nation of its critical assets.

The labour leader argued that Nigeria was not short of resources, but only lacked “genuine resourceful leaders at all levels that were committed to nation building.

Mr Aremu pointed out that the country would further slide into underdevelopment if the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company which paid the sum of $1.289 billion as dividends for 2013 was sold to the highest bidder for another easy money.

He also commended the economic patriotism of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) for rising in defence of retention of critical national assets such as NLNG.

While calling on the nation’s ruling and economic elite to enunciate big development plans and think outside the box of easy monies to spend, Mr Aremu, however, advocated a bipartisan approach on the economy to include labour and industry.

A leading union of oil workers had on Sunday threatened to shut down the country if the Federal Government carries out the plan to sell some national assets as a way out of the current economic recession.

The oil workers under the aegis of The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), described the plan to sell the national assets as a self-destructive move.

In a statement, PENGASSAN said that the plan, which would solve short term financial obligations, was really aimed at handing over Nigeria’s collective common wealth to a few individuals.

Fiscal Stimulus Plan

On Saturday, Nigeria’s Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said that the primary objective of government’s fiscal stimulus plan was not to sell off all major critical national assets but to source immediate funds to reflate the economy and implement capital projects in the 2016 budget.

Senator Udoma gave the explanation in Lagos while briefing reporters on the forthcoming Nigerian Economic Summit.

He said the intention of the government was just to get enough money to fund the 2016 budget and get the economy back on the path of recovery.

According to him,  the government needed to inject a large dose of funds into the system to get the economy back on track and to faithfully implement the provisions in the capital budget tailored at reflating the economy and aiding the diversification process.

Senator Udoma further explained that Nigeria had lost almost half its expected revenue and would need to urgently source for the shortfall to enable the government faithfully implement the budget.

“This unfortunate scenario prompted the Economic Management Team to urgently work out a fiscal stimulus plan to generate immediate large injection of funds into the economy through asset sales, advance payment for license rounds, infrastructure concessioning, use of recovered funds, among others, to reduce the funding gap.

“The other option would have been to source for additional loans, beyond the level of borrowing already projected for in the 2016 Budget.

“This would not be a wise option as it would raise the level of debt service to an unsustainable level.” a statement by the Minister’s spokesman, Akpandem James, read.