Nigerian workers, represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), have expressed dissatisfaction with the N30,000 minimum wage, labeling it as inadequate.
Consequently, the unions have urged members of the National Assembly to reduce their salaries in response.
The unions highlighted that everyone is aware of the prevailing economic challenges, exacerbated by the removal of fuel subsidies, which has particularly affected Nigerian workers.
This issue arose yesterday, when the Senate missed the one-week ultimatum set by the NLC and TUC to address the repercussions of the federal government’s removal of fuel subsidies on Nigerians.
The NLC and TUC leaders were received by the Senate President Godswill Akpabio, accompanied by key members of the Red Chamber.
During the meeting, Comrade Joe Ajero, the NLC president, emphasized the importance of the meeting, citing the need for legislative intervention to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians due to the fuel subsidy removal.
Ajero stated, “Honorable Senate President, we are here to seek your support in mediating discussions between labor unions and the federal government. As representatives of the people, I’m confident you share the people’s plight.
Our members are grappling due to the federal government’s failure to promptly implement the palliatives designed to mitigate the impact of oil subsidy removal on Nigerians.”
He continued, “The urgency of revisiting worker wages cannot be overstated. Each one of us is aware that the N30,000 minimum wage is grossly inadequate for survival in this country. We must rectify this situation as swiftly as possible.”
TUC president Festus Osifo appealed to the Senate to reduce their earnings as a gesture of respect and sacrifice, demonstrating their commitment to the well-being of the people they represent.
He recounted the story of a friend named Musa, residing in Mararaba, a suburb of Abuja. Musa commutes early in the morning, braving the cost-saving challenge of walking before taking public transport, all while earning the N30,000 minimum wage.
Osifo urged the legislative branch to act promptly, stating, “We urge the legislative branch to act expeditiously so that they can regain the people’s trust and prevent a ‘we versus them’ situation.”
In response, Akpabio assured them of the National Assembly’s readiness to collaborate with labor unions to find lasting solutions to ongoing trade disputes in the country. This collaboration would involve enacting laws to address the concerns of workers and Nigerians alike.
Akpabio thanked the labor unions for their understanding of the challenges faced by “our government, which is just two months old and confronted with numerous obstacles.” He pledged the government’s diligent efforts to improve the situation.
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