NLC Sympathizes With Kogi Workers Over Non-payment of Salaries

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Mr Ayuba Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Friday sympathised with Kogi civil servants over their colleagues who lost their lives arising from non payment of salaries.

Wabba expressed the sympathy at the public hearing for the North-Central Zone of the Federal Government Tripartite Committee on the new National Minimum Wage held at the Government House, Lokoja.

“Let me also present our special condolences. I am aware that some workers have died arising from the challenges that confronted them due to non payment of their salaries.

“My condolences go to their families and to all workers in Kogi.

“We should not allow a situation where a worker will die because we fail to do what we are supposed to do; it destroys our system and confidence,” Wabba said.

He said that all indices had shown that Nigerian workers had been impoverished for so long.

The NLC boss expressed concern that, “if the families are not able to take care of themselves, there would be social consequences”.

He stressed that the issue of minimum wage was a necessity and very dear to workers and urged them to resist any form of opposition to the proposed new minimum of N65, 500.

“It is what you are able to place in the hand of the workers that actually stimulates market and the economy.’’

The Kogi NLC Chairman, Mr Edoka Onuh, stated that the organised labour in the North-Central zone was also demanding for a minimum wage of N65, 500 in line with their national body.

The State Trade Union Congress (TUC) Chairman, Mr Ranti Ojo, urged Kogi Government to honour its pledge to implement the final decision to be taken by the Tripartite Committee on the new minimum wage.

He also called on the state government to its word be its bond on the issue.

Onuh stressed the need for local government areas to be autonomous by getting their allocation directly from the Federal Government without any interference from the state government.

Mr Onu Abullahi, the state Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), urged the committee to set a template that would favour the pensioners.

According to him, whatever the committee members recommend for pensioner will also be applicable to them when they retire from service.

Abdullahi, therefore, recommended the minimum wage of N40, 000 for pensioners in the North-Central.

In his remarks, Gov Yahaya Bello of Kogi said that whatever decision taken by the committee would be acceptable to Kogi government.

Bello was represented by his deputy, Mr Simon Achuba, at the occasion.

The governor urged the stakeholders to come together to agree on a minimum wage that would be acceptable to all.

Bello said the role of governance was not for one man but collective responsibility, noting that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Kogi had increased “tremendously.’’

Earlier, the Chairman of the Tripartite Committee, Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola urged the stakeholders to make passionate inputs to the process for a successful deliberation on a new minimum wage.

He was represented by Mrs Idiat Babalola, Special Assistant to the governor on Federal Matters.

The governor said that the public hearing was meant to consider memorandum from organised labour, governors and employers of labour on a new minimum wage that would be accepted to all workers.

NAN reports that the North-central states that made presentation at the event were Kogi, Plateau and Nassarawa States while Kwara, Benue and Niger States were absent.

Plateau proposed three different minimum wage: N25, 000, N30, 000 and N57, 000, depending on the on additional funds available from the statutory federal allocation and the state IGR.


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