Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, has announced that it has concluded work on the draft copy of the proposal for the new minimum wage, which the umbrella body of labour unions is preparing to present to the government any time soon.
This is coming as some state governors are making moves to either slash the minimum wage or retrench workers under them, attributing the move to the recent fall in oil price which they said had affected the monthly allocations from the federal government.
Recall that the Chairman of the Governors Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, had recently announced the move by his colleagues to either slash the minimum wage or downsize workers, as the states could not afford to pay the minimum wage of N18, 000 due to the drop in federal allocation to the states.
However, the President of the Congress, Comrade Boboi Kaigama, in a 13-point communiqué released at the end of its National Executive Council, NEC meeting in Lagos, said that plans by some states not to pay the minimum wage would not deter it from submitting a proposal to review workers’ salaries.
Meanwhile, the labour leader said that the proposal has become imperative because, “the last review of the minimum wage was done five years ago while the law stipulates five years for review of workers’ salaries.
“The question of imposition does not arise since the negotiations leading to the enactment of minimum wage passed through all the tenets of the International Labour Organisation’s tripartism comprising the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, the government, as well as the organised labour and government (as regulator), were all involved,” the communiqué said.
It called on the Federal Government to settle all outstanding arrears of salaries, promotion, and other allowances owed federal workers since compilation of the indebtedness had since been concluded.
The communiqué commended the federal government for the bail-out extended to needy states to pay arrears of workers’ salary and urged affected states to ensure that the bail-out funds were used judiciously.
The communiqué urged the government to revamp existing oil refineries and build new ones to end incessant scarcity and the fuel subsidy issue in the country.
It also urged government to step up the fight against crude oil theft, oil pipeline vandalism, as well as corruption in the oil and gas sector, to boost employment.
The communiqué further called on the government to review the list of 42 prohibited items in its foreign exchange policy to enable genuine manufacturers to access needed raw materials.