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Nigeria Labour Congress Lists their Demands from FG, Including State Creation and LG Police

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By Uche Amunike

Ahead of the 2024 Workers Day coming up on May 1, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has listed 7 demands from the federal government, which include the creation of a new state and local government police to fight insecurity in the country.

They have also demanded that States and local governments, including the organized private sector must pay the new minimum wage when it is eventually approved.

Nigerians are particularly looking forward to the 2024 Workers Day because it is generally expected that President Bola Tinubu may unveil the newly proposed minimum wage for workers in the country on that day.

Recall that a few weeks ago, organized labor demanded that the new minimum wage in the country will be N615,000 per month, tentatively.

According to a report by Sunday Punch, a member of the National Executive Council of the Trade Union Congress stated that the decision was reached before the increase in electricity tariff by the federal government. The report quoted the member as stating: ‘We are going to have another round of serious conversations with the government. Mind you, the tariff increase is also very good for us, because they (the government) did it when the new minimum wage process had not been concluded. So, it is going to be a good ground for us to ask for more money.’

The subsisting minimum wage in the country expired a few days ago as its 5-year life span came to an end on April 18. Recall that former President Muhammadu Buhari signed the N30,000 Minimum Wage Act into law, April 18, 2019.

A tripartite committee, which involved representatives of organized labor and government and organized private sector, for a national minimum wage negotiation, follows the International Labour Organization Convention 131.

President Bola Tinubu, through his Vice, Kashim Shettima, set up a 37-member panel at the council chamber of the State House in Abuja on January 30. The membership of the panel cuts across federal and state governments, organized labor and the private sector. This is why they are expected to recommend a new national minimum wage for the country.

In his opening address to the assembly, Shettima made a plea to the members to be quick in arriving at a resolution and submit their reports early. Chairman of the panel who is a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Bukar Aji, agreed that they would come up with a ‘fair, practical, implementable and sustainable’ minimum wage.

After months of agitation by organized labor who complained about the federal government’s failure to inaugurate the committee as promised during their negotiations last October, they finally became inaugurated.

On the side of the government, members included the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkrumah Onyejeocha, who represented the Minister of Labor and employment. There was also the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, who was represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Lydia Jafiya. Others include the Minister of Budget Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu; the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Esan, including Permanent Secretary, GSO/OSGF, Dr Nnamdi Mbaeri, among others.

There were members representing the Nigerian Governors Forum, the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association, and organized labor. President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero announced N1,000,000 as the new minimum wage, due to the rising inflation in the country, which according to him have pushed many of the NLC members into poverty.

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