22
Sun, Oct
90 New Articles

Editorial

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

In the past few years, the organized labour in Nigeria has been agitating for a review of the minimum wage paid workers nationwide. In making a case for the review, the unions averred that the current N18, 000 monthly minimum wages is unrealistic in the face of economic realities.

In the past few years, the organized labour in Nigeria has been agitating for a review of the minimum wage paid workers nationwide. In making a case for the review, the unions averred that the current N18, 000 monthly minimum wages is unrealistic in the face of economic realities.

They have therefore asked that it be increased to N56, 000. During the last May Day celebration, the workers vented their frustration at the Federal Government so much so that they staged a walk out on the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and other government officials at the gathering to celebrate Workers' Day in Abuja.
To the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, which are spearheading the quest for a review, the Federal Government has continued to display gross insensitivity to the plight of workers amidst the standard of living that in recent times has gone astronomical. Civil servants' display of anger against federal officials who graced last month's event at the Eagles Square in Abuja was not unexpected, given that it is unrealistic to expect workers to survive on a paltry N18, 000, which can barely buy a bag of 50kilograms of rice, let alone settle other basic needs. Government's insensitivity to the demand of its workers can further be gleaned from the many times it had reneged in fulfilling its part of resolutions reached with workers' unions. A case in point is government's promise to offer them some palliatives to cushion the removal of subsidy on fuel when it raised the pump price of petrol from N87.00 and N145.00. This was unfortunately kept more in breach.
Nigeria Moment is aware that the current wage is long overdue for a review having exceeded the stipulated period in the extant laws of the land. Although, government had raised a 29-man committee to look into the workers' demand, the issue has not received the expected push from the National Assembly and other stakeholders, who ought to treat it as an emergency. We side with the workers in demanding that the minimum wage be increased immediately because the existing wage is truly insignificant under the current level of inflation and the fall in the value of the naira and their concomitant effect.
Government at all levels must therefore rise up to their responsibilities by ensuring that the workers who are toiling day in day out to keep the wheel of government running are paid a minimum wage that would be a living wage.
We do not agree with the position of pessimists who have argued that a wage increase would be premature in view of the challenge confronting most state governments in meeting up with the existing minimum wage. While the immediate past Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole deserves commendation for increasing the minimum wage in Edo State to N25, 000, we laud Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State and a few others who have promised to pay the wage, if approved.
The National Assembly must move away from its lukewarm posture over the agitation for a review of the minimum wage. Its failure to see to the establishment of a New National Minimum Wage Committee to speedily conclude the issues and legislate on it is regrettable.
Lawmakers' disposition concerning this issue is lending credence to the belief in some quarters that Nigerian lawmakers are only in chambers to serve their interests and not those who voted them into office. We therefore call on federal lawmakers to prove themselves as being on the side of the people by directing the Ministry of Labour and Employment to draw up a road-map for the review of the minimum wage, including an intervention in the private sector where wage-related issues are on the increase.
We however call on the Federal Government to seriously address the agitation for a new minimum wage by keeping faith with the promise by Ngige that the matter would be considered in the next quarter.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
Sign up via our free email subscription service to receive notifications when new information is available.