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NLC cautions Fed Govt over delay in new wage

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THE delay in the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage, rising insecurity and Federal Government’s plan to divest its 40 per cent stake in the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), were among the issues discussed on Monday by organised Labour.

Officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) rose from their National Executive Council (NEC) meeting with a call on the government at all levels to immediately implement of the new national minimum wage.

They said the government can no longer hide under the protracted negotiation with workers on consequential adjustment to delay the implementation.

In a communique by its President, Ayuba Wabba and outgoing General Secretary Peter Ozo-Eson, the NLC expressed concern that no tier of the government has implemented the national minimum wage since it was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the congress, the payment of the new wage should commence immediately, effective from the day the New National Minimum Wage was signed by the President.

On rising insecurity, the Congress resolved to organise a national security summit to discuss and proffer solution.

The communique reads: “As part of Labour contribution to finding solution to the security challenges in the country, the NLC would convene a national security summit to dispassionately engage the current challenge of insecurity in Nigeria and proffer sustainable solutions.

“Prior to the proposed Security Summit, the NEC resolved that NLC would hold rallies across Nigeria to sensitise government and citizens on the need to urgently arrest the current drift in security.”

The NLC noted that the recent confession by a bandit that helicopters dropped weapons for criminals was suggestive of possible collusion between criminal elements and big-time financiers of criminality.

It also decried the upsurge in insurgent attacks in three local government areas of Gubio, Magumeri and Konduga in Borno State and the villages of Dille, Lassa, Ngurthlavu, Dagu, Yaffa, Maikadiri and Kidlindila in Askira/Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.

According to the NLC, the victims of the renewed security breaches have always been workers and defenceless citizens, warning that the trend could impact negatively on the economy if not checked.

The primary responsibility of government, the NLC said, “is the security of lives and property”. It called on the government at all levels to rein the resurgence in criminality and brigandage.

“We call for improvement in the quality and quantity of policing deployed for the security of citizens and property and emphasized the need for improved intelligence gathering and the use of technology as being of utmost importance as effective measures in the fight against crime, brigandage and terrorism”, the communique added.

On electricity, the NLC expressed concern over media reports that the government plans to divest 40 per cent of its shares in DisCos and GenCos, even as it decried persistence power outages.

Restating its opposition to increase in electricity tariff, the NLC said: “It’s the conviction of the NEC that continuous hike in electricity tariff and persistent power outages present huge financial burden for businesses thus making goods and services produced in Nigeria not to be competitive as goods cum services produced elsewhere.”

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