National Executive Council, NEC, of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has resolved to push for an upward review of the current N18,000 minimum wage from next year.
To achieve the goal, the leadership of the NLC has been mandated by the NEC to draw up a proposal to the federal government for the inclusion of the new wage in the 2015 budget.
The workers’ body also endorsed kabour’s plan to organise a one-day national protest march simultaneously across the country, to draw attention of the political leadership at all levels that Nigeria as a country cannot continue to put up with the recklessness of the political elite, especially as regards corruption.
The NEC in-session also gave its nod for all the allies of the congress in the civil society, as well as professional associations and religious bodies, to join in the protest.
A communiqué issued at the end of its inaugural meeting, the NEC reviewed the deteriorating purchasing power of Nigerian workers as caused by the massive devaluation of the naira, as well as the fact that the Minimum Wage Act of 2011 has reached its statutory five year mark for review.
The labour leaders thus mandated the national leadership to draw up a new proposal for the upward review of the current N18, 000 national minimum wage.
“This proposal shall upon completion, be tabled before the federal government with stakeholders to negotiate the proposal.
“We hope that the negotiations will be completed in time for the new minimum wage to be reflected in the 2016 national and state budgets.”
Meanwhile, the NEC, which comprises all the chairmen of state councils of NLC, was disappointed with the escalating rate of unemployment in the country, describing it “a ticking time bomb” which needs immediate attention of all tiers of government to address.
“The NEC as a result frowns at the disingenuous approach of the National Bureau of Statistics and other agencies of government to manipulate unemployment figures. This fraudulent approach is not helpful to the government which needs as accurate figure as possible to be able to properly plan on ways of resolving the alarming unemployment situation in the country.”
The communiqué demanded a revisit to the report of 2009 National Employment Summit, which the federal government convened after the NLC canvassed for it.
“The Summit had projected that between 45 million jobs could be created annually up to 2020.”
On the power sector, the NEC called on the federal government to review the privatisation recently carried out in the sector.
The congress believes that the focus of the reform in government divesting from critical aspects of the power architecture to a private sector that lacks creativity and was so dependent on the state for its existence is the reason for continued national darkness and hardship for the manufacturing segment of the economy.
The NEC further resolved that the congress should produce a comprehensive review position on the power sector and engage the new government on it, with a view to improving power generation and supply in the country.
It also called on the federal government to prevail on the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, not to renege on its responsibility to protect consumers from imposition of outrageous and unjustifiable bills on them by the new managers, the Distribution Companies, DISCOs, that have so far failed to add any value to companies they inherited.

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