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Labour begins indefinite wage strike November 6

Unless the Federal Government announces a new
minimum wage, organised labour will embark on an indefinite strike from November
6, 2018.

“If nothing is responsibly done by the Federal Government to meet our
demands, on Monday, the 6th day of November, we shall embark on a nationwide
strike to compel this government to show more sensitivity to the plight of
Nigerians and the suffering that is decimating our people on daily basis,” said
a statement by labour leaders.

The statement was signed by the President of Nigeria Labour Congress
(NLC), Ayuba Wabba; his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Bobboi Kaigama;
and President of the United Labour Congress (ULC), Joe Ajaero, in Abuja on
A seven-day warning strike it staged earlier was called off September
30, three days after it began. Labour had wanted the Federal Government to
reconvene the tripartite national minimum wage committee.
The organised labour denied government’s argument that the committee did
not agree on a figure during its last sitting. “We accepted N30,000 as a
compromise to demonstrate the willingness of Nigerian workers to make
sacrifices towards nation building. Anything to the contrary, no matter the
quantum and character of the din or how well couched it may appear, cannot be
Resorting to Goebbelsianism at this time of national emergency, which
requires men and women of integrity, is rather unfortunate and cannot suddenly
make the brazen falsehoods truths.”
The labour leaders said: “We cannot continue discussing a figure that
has already been agreed procedurally within the committee.
What we are waiting for is for the Federal Government to immediately set
in motion the necessary machinery for turning the agreement into a bill for
onward submission to the National Assembly, where we expect the presidency to
work together with the legislators to make it a law so that it can be
implemented quickly.
“We are not amused by the feeble
and laughable attempt the Federal Government is making to intimidate and cow
the trade union movement and its leadership in the country all in a bid to
subjugate the will of Nigerian workers over the national minimum wage. Let us
today remember those who deny us and let us collectively demonstrate our
position at next year’s polls.”
Confirming the outcome of the last meeting on the proposed figure from
the Organised Private Sector (OPS), the director general designate, Nigerian
Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Timothy Olawale, said:
“We have concluded. We have a majority figure which was N30,000, which was what
we all agreed on. 
However, there was a minority voice from the Federal
Government that it would not be sustainable for government and they proposed
N24,000. But we insisted that we were closing discussion and we were leaving it
at N30,000.”
Olawale however pleaded with the organised labour not to embark on
strike, adding that if it does, the private sector should be excluded.
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions
(NASU) meanwhile has berated the Federal Economic Council for approving 15 per
cent of the annual budget for education at the twilight of the current
The general secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi, said 20 per cent would
have been more appropriate because given the low budget of the country, a mere
15 per cent would not make noticeable impact.
He said: “The so-called 15 per cent is even grossly inadequate because
right now, what our universities are doing is to rely on the Tertiary Education
Trust Fund (TETFund) to bridge the gaps that have been created as a result of
inadequate funding.
Government talks about intervention funds, which is a clear admittance
that government is not funding education properly through the budgetary system.
I think if government is serious about funding education, they should start
from 20 per cent to make any impact.
 In fact, we need to ask the 15
per cent or 20 per cent of what? What is even the size of the budget itself for
the percentage allotted to make sense?
So, the size of the budget determines the quantum of impact that is
expected. Right now, our budgetary allocation cannot be said to be extremely

The Guardian

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