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NLC proposes ₦709,000 as the new minimum wage

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Workers should be paid a fair wage that reflects the cost of living.

During the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) 11th Quadrennial Delegates Conference in Abuja, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, emphasised the importance of ensuring that workers are paid a fair wage that reflects the cost of living. Ajaero urged the Federal Government to prioritise this issue and make sure that salaries and wages are adequate for workers to sustain themselves. During the public hearing for the North-Central minimum wage negotiation committee, the NLC put forward a proposal of ₦709,000 to be considered as the new national minimum wage.

In contrast, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) suggested ₦447,000 as the potential new national minimum wage. The existing minimum wage of ₦30,000, implemented by former President Muhammadu Buhari, is set to expire in April. Ajaero expressed concern over the financial difficulties faced by workers, describing them as being forced to seek assistance due to the challenging economic conditions in the country. In a distressing turn of events, it was mentioned that Nigerians are now resorting to scavenging in order to find food due to its scarcity.

An unfavourable economy makes people go hungry and loot resources.

They are raiding food trucks and warehouses out of sheer desperation. While the government seems oblivious to the severity of the situation, it is crucial for them to ensure that they fulfil their responsibilities towards the people. It is heart-wrenching to see their fellow citizens going hungry in the country. This cycle of destitution cannot be allowed to continue. Hunger has always been a powerful force that brings people together and motivates them to action. It is ridiculous for government officials to suggest that someone is funding protests driven by hunger.

The government officials responsible for implementing policies that leave the people destitute and devoid of their humanity are the ones provoking a reaction from the public. The theft of food supplies from trucks and warehouses is a direct consequence of this neglect. Without intervention, this situation may worsen. Hopefully, they are hoping for it to remain under control. He explained that any attempts to thwart their sacred mission with intimidation and aggression will be futile. Those who believe they can deter them should reconsider their actions.

People in power should use their influence for the community’s benefit.

He added that they back down or give up their inherent right to those who perpetuate poverty and disempowerment. Their goal is not to take anyone’s position, but they demand that those in power use their influence for the benefit of the community instead of causing harm to their well-being. It is imperative to prioritise the safety and well-being of Nigerians above all else in any political decision-making. Neglecting the lives of the people is not an option and should not be tolerated. The focus should be on ensuring the survival of the Nigerian population before considering any future plans.

Collaboration is key in harnessing power for effective communication with the leaders of the country. The people of Nigeria rely on them to succeed in this mission. Therefore, they work as a team to make sure they don’t let them down. Those in the NLC, like the acting president and Deputy President of Congress, Comrade Ado Sani Minjibir, greatly value and appreciate their support in constructing vital frameworks to strengthen the NLC and confront the changes in the country’s current economic and social conditions.

Related Article: NLC protests against hardship in the country

Also, at the conference, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, the Minister of Labour and Employment. emphasised the government’s dedication to ensuring accessible healthcare for all Nigerians. The Director of Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations, Yusuf Mohammed, speaking on behalf of Onyejeocha, reiterated the government’s commitment to improving welfare benefits for healthcare workers. Kabiru Minjibir, the current Acting National President of the Medical and Health Workers Union, expressed deep concern over the impact of the fuel subsidy removal, stating that it has caused immense suffering for Nigerians. He warned that if immediate action is not taken, the country may be on the brink of chaos.

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NLC: Website

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