By Edith Ike-Eboh
Abuja – The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has urged the Federal, state governments and the organised private sector to resolve the differences in the ongoing negotiation for a new national minimum wage.
The National President of the Union, Mr Olabode Johnson made the appeal on Tuesday in Abuja while addressing newsmen on its planned 40th anniversary.
He described as ungodly, the shenanigans displayed by some state governors when it comes to payment of workers’ salaries.
“ We need to give priority to the issue of minimum wage now before the political campaigns starts in full by next month, all parties need to agree on a particular amount on this issue.”
According to him, PENGASSAN believes that the Federal and state governments have the capacity to resolve the minimum wage issue before campaigns start, so that it can be passed into law.
“PENGASSAN, as an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, we are also bound to look at the dictates of the agreement.
“ When you look at the issue of the new minimum wage, you will agree that it is long overdue. You must be able to give Nigerians a minimum wage. Look at the current hardship, look at depreciation; look at what everybody is facing.
“I also want to appeal to the Federal and state governments, Nigeria Employers Consultative Assembly and other stakeholders, that a stitch in time saves nine.
“ Whatever everybody is supposed to do, because, by the end of November, politics will start; now is the time to do everything we have to do in that regard,’’ he said
He added: “ for every state that has political appointees, I have never seen that they are been owed salaries.
“ On the issue of minimum wage, we want to appeal to government to give it priority.
“Let this bickering of N24,000, N25,000 and N30,000 be sorted out, so that you don’t create an impression with Nigerians that you are insensitive to their plights. Let us pay everybody his or her due.”
On the planned 40th anniversary of the union on October 18, he said that President Muhammadu Buhari, would be the special guest of honour.
He listed others expected at the event to include, Aliko Dangote, Dr Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, state governors, chief executive officers of international oil companies and security experts.
Johnson noted that past labour leaders who fought for the actualisation of June 12 would also be recognized at the anniversary.
He added that the union would unveil its world class event center during the event, and would employ qualified Nigerians to run and mange the operation of the center.
He said that the conference has the theme: ‘Labour, fuelling the economy.’(NAN)