By Bukola Adewumi/Joan Nwagwu
Abuja – The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday vowed to resist any attempt to slowdown the review of the National Minimum wage.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President said this at the 40th Anniversary of the Congress in Abuja with the theme: “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, National Unity and Social Justice”.
Wabba said the N18, 000 minimum wage was borne out of the current reality of the high cost living, free fall of naira and the high cost of goods and service and it was long overdue.
According to him, let us use this medium to serve notice to those who seek to slow down or frustrate the process of review that they will be resisted in like manner as our predecessors did.
“We are prepared to deal with employers, especially governors who deny workers and pensioners their salaries and pension.
“Workers and their families would not give them any further political support, especially their votes,” he warned.
He noted that the Nigerian workers and other citizens had suffered from increase taxation, retrenchment from public and private sectors, non payment of salaries, gratuities and pension.
He also said that the cost of living, transportation has increased, saying that the government has refused to honour and implement the bargain agreement.
The NLC president said that the union has continued to use its platform to demand for a fair, just, equitable and workable political system for the Nigerian workers.
Wabba, while speaking on the anniversary, said NLC would use the occasion to engage in self–examination of the past, present and also try to project into the future.
“We need to celebrate our modest achievements and learn from our mistakes.
“We need to know if we have adhered to or deviated from the fundamental principles of our organisation.
“In celebrating these achievements, we need to think of ways of reinvigorating, revitalizing and transforming the organisation to a formidable worker organisation can stand the test of time,’’ he said.
Also, Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment said the Federal Government has assured workers in the country that they would begin to enjoy the new minimum wage by the third quarter of 2018.
Ngige said third quarter was the minimum time for the implementation of the new wage.
“In furtherance to the determination by the Federal Government to attain the decent work agenda, which involves opportunities for work that are productive and deliver a fair income,
“Security in the workplace, and social protection for families; there have been overtime three minimum wage reviews and currently the tripartite committee of National Minimum Wageis set to review the current minimum wage.
“Memoranda are being received from relevant bodies and persons to enable the determination of the minimum wage for the nation, so by the third quarter, a new minimum wage would be announced for the country,” he said. (NAN)