ICYMI: Why Nigerian Workers ‘Should Be Clapping’ For Us – FG

ICYMI: Why Nigerian Workers 'Should Be Clapping' For Us – FG

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, believes the Federal Government deserves to be applauded by the Nigerian workers.

According to him, the Muhammadu Buhari administration has been able to manage the welfare of workers in the country better than other administrations.

“Many people will not remember very quickly,” the minister said in an interview with Channels Television on the last edition of Roadmap 2019.

He explained further, “In the military government, at a time, there was an embargo on employment; even embargo on promotions. When people go, the vacancies are there and the monies are returned to the coffers of the government.”

“We are not doing so and I thought Nigerian workers should be clapping for us for that. We are promoting them (workers) as we speak; we are replacing those who have left,” Ngige added.

“In fact, when people leave on high grades, we do what is called suppression and get more (people) on the lower grades. The Presidency doesn’t want anybody to be laid off; this President.”

According to the minister, President Muhammadu Buhari is very concerned about the welfare of workers because he was part of them, as a soldier.

“No embargo on employment,” he insisted, stressing that government was recruiting more workers and replacing those who left for one reason or the other.

According to him, the Buhari administration has recruited 30,000 policemen and thousands of workers into various parastatals of the government.

Senator Ngige added that the government came up with various interventions such as the National Social Investment Programme, to improve the standard of living of the people.

He also pointed out the N-Power scheme for 500,000 young Nigerians whom he said were receiving N30,000 monthly and N5,000 for equipment.

He said traders were not left out of the benefits from the government as they enjoy small-scale empowerment under the interest-free loan scheme among others.

On the issue of minimum wage, the minister said, “It’s in the exclusive list; exclusive legislative list.”

“It is the Federal Government that will legislate on it. I am hopeful that we can do something that we can call National Minimum Wage Act, 2018,” Ngige said.

Calls For New Minimum Wage Dominate Workers’ Day Activities

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode addresses the state workers at the Agege Stadium on the occasion of the Workers Day celebrations on Tuesday

 

As Nigerians join their counterparts from across the world to celebrate the International Workers’ Day, they are calling on the Federal Government to improve the welfare of the labour force.

Top on their demand list is the call for the government at all levels to increase the minimum wage from N18,000 to N66,500.

In Abuja, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) urged the Federal Government to approve the amount demanded by the workers and warned that it would not accept non-compliance with a new minimum wage when passed.

It also threatened to vote out any government that fails to comply with a new wage.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, issued the threat on Tuesday in Abuja in his message to the Nigerian workers to celebrate May Day 2018.

“We are battle ready against public and private organisations that would refuse to conform to the new minimum wage. “At our disposal is the power of our votes,” NLC President Mr Ayuba Wabba, said.

“We shall ensure that governments that refuse to pay the new minimum wage will not receive the support of the working class, pensioners and their families.”

The demand was supported by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr Yakubu Dogara, among others.

Ekweremadu is of the opinion that even if the workers cannot have their desired amount, they should be paid at least N50,000 to meet up to the current realities in the country.

On his part, the Speaker who hailed workers for their contribution to national development and growth, promised that the National Assembly would expedite the passage of the Minimum Wage Bill once the National Minimum Wage Committee has completed its task and the executive forward a bill for the review of the wage to them.

Across the states of the federation, workers gathered at different venues to mark the Workers’ Day.

Niger State civil servants present a 10-point demand to Governor Abubakar Bello as they mark Workers Day.

 

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, assures workers in the state of his administration’s commitment in meeting their welfare in this year’s Workers Day celebrations held in Asaba, the state capital on Tuesday.

 

Workers Day celebration in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.

 

Workers Day celebration in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Tuesday

 

Scene from Bayelsa State of the 2018 Workers Day celebrations

 

Inauguration Of New Minimum Wage Committee In Photos

President Muhammadu Buhari today, November 27  inaugurated a 30-member National Minimum Wage Committee to negotiate a new National Minimum wage for Nigerian workers, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

See Photos below…

NLC, ASUU Move Against Sale Of National Assets

National Assets, NLC, Ayuba Wabba, Judiciary, JUSUN
NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba,

The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it is opposed to the proposal to sell off some national assets as a way out of the current economic recession.

President of the NLC, Mr Ayuba Waba, at a joint press conference in Abuja with members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) described the move as inimical to Nigerian workers.

The NLC President, who said that he would mobilize workers to resist any move by government to sell some of its assets, asked the government to improve on taxation.

According to him, the government can grow the economy if it focuses on taxing the rich and eliminating all forms of tax waivers.

FG, Labour Meeting Over Petrol Price Rescheduled For Tuesday

labour-union-Federal-government-meetingTalks between the Federal Government and labour unions as part of efforts to avert the planned strike by Nigeria Labour Congress to resist an increase in the price of petrol are continuing on Tuesday.

The meeting was rescheduled after both parties could not reach an agreement in an earlier meeting on Monday.

According to Channels TV correspondent, the dialogue, which held in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), had in attendance the SGF, representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), PENGASSAN, as well as the Governor of Edo State.

The SGF is leading a delegation of ministers and other representatives of the federal government in the meeting with the union leaders.

While appealing to the workers’ union leaders to put the nation’s interest ahead of theirs as they went into the meeting, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, said that the decision to deregulate the petroleum was the only option for the government to tackle the nation’s financial predicament.

However, the President of the NLC said that the meeting would present them the opportunity to table issues in the minds of the workers to the government.

Organised labour has set Wednesday, May 18 to go on an indefinite strike if the federal government fails to meet its demand of reverting the pump price of petrol to 86.50 kobo per litre.

On Sunday, the National Vice President of the NLC, Mr Amechi Asugwuni, warned that Nigerian workers would down tools if the government failed to revert to the old price.

Before the increase in the price of petrol on May 11, the union had earlier proposed a new minimum wage of 56,000 Naira, insisting that the increment was long overdue.

PENGASSAN, NUPENG, the Pilots and Engineers unions had supported the decision of the government to increase petrol pump price, something that many have seen as an obstacle in the way of the Nigeria Labour Congress’ resistance to the increase.

 

Full Text: May Day Speech By President Muhammadu Buhari

SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER – IN – CHIEF, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2016 NATIONAL MAY DAY CELEBRATION HELD AT THE EAGLE SQUARE, ABUJA ON SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2016

Great Nigerian Workers!

Great Nigerian Workers!

I bring you greetings.

It is with great pleasure that I honour the invitation by the two Federations of Trade Unions, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to attend the 2016 National May Day celebrations. As you all know, this is my first outing in this forum which has a long and historical tradition that are noble and progressive. The efforts of all the heroes past who had fought for the workers of all nations to have a ‘voice’ in determining the course and direction of both national and international issues affecting the state of their being, are commemorated today, the first day of May all over the world. Labour remains unarguably an important element in any policy, programme and project propagated for national development.

This year’s celebration is significant in a number of ways. First, it marks the first May Day celebration under the All Progressive Congress (APC) Administration which brought an end to the sixteen (16) years of national squander, bad governance, unbridled corruption and economic woes by the previous administration. Second, it is coming at a time when the whole world is experiencing some form of economic crisis or the other.

For us whose main foreign exchange comes from oil, the global decline in the price of oil has further exacerbated our economic crisis. The resultant effects of this are noticeable in government dwindling resources, reduction in operational capacities of most companies especially in the Oil and Gas Sector, threats of workforce reduction by multinationals and the escalations of volatility amongst others. These developments no doubts, have socio-economic implications for the economy as well as the working class. I therefore appreciate the theme you have chosen for this year’s National May Day celebration – The Working Class and the Quest for Socio – Economic Revival. A quest it is, and the realization of the revival is not farfetched. It only requires reasonable time to remedy the maladministration and put forth a change so desired by all of us.

I make no excuses as this Government of the APC is determined to tackle headlong all socio – economic ills that have troubled our nation and we shall evolve solutions to emerging threats to our well being and the realization of sustainable development as well as growth anchored on equity and social justice.

Development must be sustainable for it to benefit society in general. It is therefore the responsibility of those in the citadels of power to align themselves with the working class who make development possible by generating and sustaining the momentum of positive change. That is why the present Administration has sought and will continue to seek the hands of Labour so that together we can attain the enviable heights of progress in our beloved country.

It is for this very reason that I aspired to become President which the Nigerian people have now made a reality. This Administration shall effect positive Change in the lives of average Nigerians, to ensure that the downtrodden are elevated and most importantly to fight the intense pain of corruption which has enriched the very few to the detriment of the majority of Nigerians who groan under the overwhelming weight of poverty and all the superstructural and infrastructural maladies resulting from corruption.

In this fight against corruption, I need you all to be very willing partners. Fighting corruption in the Public Service in particular, requires the workers to play major roles by cooperating with the Government.

I have listened to the speeches made by both the Presidents of the TUC and NLC. By the speeches, you have without any equivocation affirmed  your faith in the greatness of Nigeria as a nation. The challenges facing Nigeria have been highlighted and I assure you that they shall be accorded due consideration. It is worthy to note that solution to some of those issues and requests are already being considered and would be made public in the near future. The times may be tough, but we Nigerians are by nature resilient and strong and it is that nature that propels us to overcome adversities and still thrive as a nation.

Let us use this National May Day to celebrate the workers and Nigeria as a Nation. There will always be challenges in the life of a man and what defines greatness is the way and manner such challenges are tackled and overcome. I assure you, great Nigerian workers that this Administration is able and willing to constructively handle the challenges.

In so doing, I request your cooperation and understanding, as partners in progress. The need to ensure a conducive atmosphere devoid of incessant industrial actions becomes paramount to ensure no loss of man – days and accordingly promote high productivity which is perquisite for sustainable development based on increased investments, creation of jobs as well as protection of jobs. I further assure you that working together, this Administration protect workers rights and shall promote incentives for great productivity and hence greater prosperity.

Thank you and I wish you all happy May Day celebrations.

God Bless.

 

Unpaid Salaries: Labour To Partner Agencies To Probe Governors

Labour-SalariesOrganised labour unions have threatened to initiate the probe of state governors owing workers salaries despite collecting bailout funds from the Federal Government.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) made the threat to partner with anti-graft agencies to investigate the governors at a conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

They accused the ruling class of amassing wealth at the expense of the Nigerian worker.

The labour union has insisted on pushing for a new minimum wage of 56,000 Naira, even though some states are unable to pay the current national minimum wage of 18,000 Naira.

The demand was made public a week before the celebration of the International Workers’ Day which is also known as Labour Day in some places. It is commonly referred to as May Day in Nigeria.

May Day is an annual celebration of labourers and the working classes. It is promoted by the international labour movement, socialists, communists and anarchists.

Nigerians Celebrate Workers’ Day

Workers' DayNigerian workers are joining their counterparts from all over the world to celebrate the International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day in some places, but commonly referred to as May Day in Nigeria.

The celebration is holding amidst request by labour unions in Nigeria for an increase in the wages of workers.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had on April 27 proposed 56,000 Naira (about $281) as a new minimum wage to the Nigerian Government.

The unions made the proposal at a press conference held in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The President of the NLC, Mr Ayuba Wabba, told reporters that the unions made the formal demand on the proposed national minimum wage to the Federal Government on Tuesday.

The current national minimum wage is 18, 000 Naira.

“I can say now authoritatively that as of yesterday (Tuesday) we made a formal proposal to the Federal Government of 56,000 Naira to be the new minimum wage.

“The demand has been submitted officially to the government and we hope that the tripartite system to look at the review will actually be put set up to look at it.

“Our argument is that, yes, it is true that the economy is not doing well, but the law stated that wages for workers must be reviewed after every five years.

“So, the issue must be looked into by the Federal Government and workers should not be seen as sleeping on their rights,” he said.

May Day is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement, socialists, communists and anarchists and occurs every year on.

The date was chosen for International Workers’ Day by the second international, a pan-national organisation of socialist and communist political parties, to commemorate the Hay Market Affair, which occurred in Chicago May 4, 1886.

The 1904 International Socialist Conference in Amsterdam, the sixth conference of the second international, called on “all social democratic party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on May 1 for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.

Improved Workers’ Welfare Critical To Change Agenda – Dogara

Workers-Yakubu DogaraThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, has assured Nigerian workers of the commitment of the House to workers’ welfare.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr Turaki Hassan, Dogara, said that improvement in the condition of workers was critical to the change agenda of the present administration.

“The International Workers’ Day was borne out of the struggle for improved workers’ rights and better working conditions,” he said.

The Speaker drew attention to the ongoing review of obsolete and outdated laws by the House, many of which he said “Would, when amended, make life easier for people who engage in productive activities across the country.

“Workers are the lifeblood of every nation and a well-trained and motivated workforce is vital to our goal of a vibrant, strong, productive and efficient economy.

“A modern, knowledgeable and effective workforce is at the heart of the legislative agenda of the 8th House of Representatives”.

“Today, we honour those silent heroes who brave through tough conditions to deliver their best; from our teachers to our doctors to our civil servants, to our farmers, to our self-employed youths and women, who eke out a living, despite the harsh economic conditions of today.

“For their sake, we shall do all in our power and employ the necessary legislative tools to make a difference in their lives,” he added.

Speaker Dogara also spoke about unemployment, saying that: “Unemployment remains one of greatest threats to both our security and progress. It is said that an idle mind is the devils workshop.

“We hope that the 2016 Budget will be faithfully implemented to kick start the process of national renewal.

“We will ensure that quality job creation is at the centre of any government contracts and international agreements.

“We must invest in the training and retraining of our workers to be the best and to have the necessary tools to compete anywhere in the world.”

The Speaker congratulated the Nigerian Labour Congress, other labour unions and labour leaders for the sacrifices, maturity, partnership and understanding they have exhibited in the conduct of labour relations in Nigeria and wished them happy Labour Day celebrations.

N56,000 Minimum Wage Demand Long Overdue – Issa Aremu

minimum wageThe leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress believe that the demand for a new minimum wage of 56,000 Naira by Nigerian workers is long overdue.

Speaking on our breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Vice President of the NLC, Comrade Issa Aremu, said that too many years have passed since salaries were reviewed and 18,000 Naira is no longer realistic for today’s economic realities.

He said that the minimum wage should be reviewed every five years and the proposed 56,000 Naira is subject to negotiation.

Matter of the Law

There have been worries that many states are not able to pay an even lower current minimum wage of 18,000 Naira but Mr Aremu says Labour is not unaware of this.

The former NLC President said that it was a matter of right and the law for the Labour Union to demand an increase because its agreement while accepting 18,000 in the year 2010 was that the minimum wage would be reviewed after five years.

He said that the NLC was not ignorant of the situation across the states but that it was necessary to demand the review to avoid too much delay after the due time.

“We don’t want a situation in which we allow the time of review to be too long and then you’re going to have a dramtic review of 100% or 200% as the case may be.

“Don’t forget it was year 2000 that we had the 5,500 minimum wage and we did not review until ten years after. So all the stakeholders; federal government, state governments, organised private sector and labour, agreed that we have to be doing 5-year periodic review,” he explained.

Mr Aremu said that their request should not be seen as strange because it goes along with international standards which sees some countries reviewing their minimum wage annually.

Lack of Will

He insisted further that the current N18,000 minimum wage had become too small over the years as the current situation of the economy has turned the working class to beggers.

“18,000 Naira; you can’t drive this economy with this kind of miserable pay,” he said.

Mr Aremu also argued that some governors’ inability to pay salaries is borne out of the lack of will by the state governors.

“Governors need to know that they are also employers of labour and they must make sure they pay workers that work for them,” he said, adding that there must be a reason why some governors in spite of the claimed difficulties are able to pay their workers.

He explained that many issues that would have empowered the states to take care of their responsibilities have been ignored over the years and a demand like the new minimum wage would ensure that the government does the right thing.

He cited blocking leakages, promoting internally generated revenue as some of the factors that state governments have not taken seriously but which they now must as Labour would insist on the implementation of the salary review.

“Don’t also forget that many of these governors are meeting some of their lousy obligations. Have you heard any of these governors who has not been paid? Some of them are even paying their predecessors.

“So it’s not lack of resources, it is the lack of the will. You have to prioritise your needs and I think the greatest resource Nigeria has, beyond oil and gas, is the human resource.”

Head Of Service Monitors MDAs In Abuja

ServiceFollowing Tuesday’s low turnout of civil servants for work after the Christmas holidays, the Head of Service, Ms Winifred Ekanem, has paid an unscheduled visit to some ministries and government agencies in Abuja.

The Head of Service, along with some of her permanent secretaries, said that their unscheduled visit to the ministries was aimed at checking and correcting the abnormality.

She said that the visit would also allow the federal government reward hard working civil servants and also sanction those who play truancy with their work.

Channels Television had visited the federal secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday and noticed a low turn-out of workers resuming from the public holiday. Some of the resuming workers attributed the low turn-out to a possible annual leave that some of the civil servants might still be enjoying.

In response to this, the HoS promised to work out a proper leave schedule for civil servants through the permanent secretaries in order to reduce the number of staff who go on annual leave in December.

Although there was an improvement in the number of workers who have resumed work during her visit, quite a number of offices were still under locks and keys as the complex retained an unusual silence.

 

Nigerian Workers Resume After Public Holiday

public holidayTuesday, December 29 sees the end of the public holiday declared by the federal government for workers to enjoy the 2015 Christmas and Maulud festivals.

However, the federal secretariat in Abuja recorded very low turn-out of workers from the public holiday.

Some of the resuming workers attributed the low turn-out to a possible annual leave that some of the civil servants might still be enjoying.

Others, however, believe that since the public holiday was over, it was time to get back to work and ensure that no backlog of work is allowed to spill into the new year.

Meanwhile in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, southwest Nigeria, work has fully resumed after the long Christmas and Maulud holiday.

A visit to the Governor’s Office in the state capital revealed that workers were back attending to government businesses at their duty posts across various government ministries, departments and parastatals.

The state Head of Service, Mr Sola Adeyemi, who was one of the early callers in the office charged the state workforce to be more alive to their responsibilities in order to ensure quick service delivery.