5 February 2019

Nigeria: Minimum Wage - Buhari Appeals for Understanding

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed for understanding of Nigerian workers as the federal government attempts to address the pressing issue of the new national minimum wage in the country.

Mr Buhari, who represented by Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, made the appeal at the 12th National Delegate Conference of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday in Abuja.

The theme of the two-day National Delegate Conference was: "Towards a Decade of Activism for the Promotion of Labour Unity, National Rebirth and Development."

According to the president, government is determined to attain the decent work agenda, which involves opportunities to works that are productive and deliver fair income, security in works place and social protection for families.

"Government appeals for the continued understanding of workers in attempt to address the pressing issue of minimum wage.

"As a Technical Advisory Committee recently inaugurated by Mr President to develop and advice government on how to successfully actualise the objective of seamless implementation of the impending wage increase.

"To identify new revenue sources as well as areas of existing expenditure from where some saving could be made and to augment present Federal Government's revenue framework in order to fund the wage increase.

"Lastly, to propose a work plan and modalities for the implementation of salary increase in a way that minimize any inflation impact and ensure that it does not lead to any job losses," he said.

Mr Buhari, however, assured NLC of government's unalloyed support and cooperation towards its struggle for better workers' welfare, which would invariably enhance productivity and economic growth in the country.

The president further said the present administration regarded the NLC as partners in progress and also reassured the congress of the commitment of the administration to workers' welfare.

"This is evidenced by the numerous programmes and policies that have been initiated by this present administration in promoting the interest and well-being of our workforce.

"This administration is also committed to addressing other issues that are still pending," he added.

He said the theme of the conference was apt.

According to him, the Labour movement can be said without fear of contradiction to have lived up to the expectations of its teeming members by "continually protecting, defending and promoting the rights, well-being and interest of all workers and affiliates trade unions.

"It has played significant role with the promotion of unity among workers and constantly engaged government on national rebirth and development. This has been a commendable endeavor," he said.

Earlier, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said organised labour will resist any attempt to sell the national assets.

Mr Wabba said evidence abound across the country that privatisation has not done the nation any good as majority of government owned enterprises privatised are now comatose.

He said what has happened in the past was that the enterprises are under prices and sold to friends and associates, who strip them of the assets, leaving them comatose and unproductive.

"Since the privatisation of electricity distribution, Nigerians are yet to see the fulfilment of promises of efficient service delivery.

(NAN)

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