Pay N30,000 or forget 2019 elections, labour dares governors

Labour to govs: Pay N30,000 or forget 2019 elections

“We are going to use it as part of our campaign strategy; if you can’t pay minimum wage, then forget election.”

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja, Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin and Agaju Madugba, Katsina and Bimbola Oyesola

President Muhammadu Buhari and representatives of the governors under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) yesterday met behind closed door to discuss ways out of the minimum wage conundrum.

Although resolution of the meeting which lasted about an hour was not made known, there were indications that the meeting was deadlocked.

Daily Sun learnt that the governors resolved to settle the issue away from the media so as not to unduly heat up the polity.

A source close to the meeting, yesterday, said the governors resolved to stick to their initial proposal of N22,500 which they made on the eve of the submission of the committee’s report on October 6, 2018.

Another source said the governors have settled for N24,000 which was the proposed figure by the Federal Government that was turned down by organised labour.

However, Organised Labour warned governors that reject the proposed minimum wage to forget the 2019 election.

Deputy President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr. Sunday Salako, said, in a telephone interview with the Daily Sun, that Labour had no interest in whatever might be the outcome of the latest governors meeting with President Buhari.

“All we’re interested in is the passage of the new minimum wage bill into law. We are not quarreling with them. What we want is for the president to send a bill to the National Assembly for ratification. When this is done, let us now see a governor that will not pay.”

He said Labour was happy that it coincided with the election year, noting that labour would make good use of the opportunity.

“We are going to use it as part of our campaign strategy; if you can’t pay minimum wage, then forget election.”

Salako said Labour had equally advised the governors that rather than running to President Buhari, any of them that feels he cannot pay, should go back to their state and inform the workers there.

“If they are bold enough let them go and address their workers and face the consequence thereafter.”

He said the campaign that they could not pay until the sharing of allocation is redressed has been on since last week, hence it was not new to the workers.

Similarly, Kwara State TUC chairman, Kolawole Olumoh, charged governors to cut down their expenses on political appointees and others.

He alleged that most governors appointed special assistants or advisers that were not relevant to governance in their various states.

“It is surprising that the governors could renege on their initial agreement at the tripartite meeting where it was agreed that they would pay the N30,000 minimum wage or,” he said. Governors had last week resolved to present another formula to address the issue of minimum wage to President Buhari.

Present at the parley were chairman of NGF and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz, Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi), Udom

Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna) and Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

Yari had told newsmen at the last emergency meeting that it was impracticable to implement the N30,000 minimum wage without downsizing the workforce all over the country.

He added that the resolution was either for the Federal Government to accede to the review of the national revenue allocation formula or mass sack. Meanwhile, Director-General of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), Brig-Gen. Suleiman Zakari Kazaure has said any upward review of allowances of corps members will have to wait until the Federal Government approved the proposed national minimum wage.

“The NYSC is part of Federal Government parastatals. So, we are still waiting for the minimum wage. I am sure whatever is approved will definitely affect NYSC,” Kazuare said on Monday during the commencement of the orientation programme and swearing-in of the 2018 Batch “C” Stream Two corps members deployed to Katsina State.

He urged the corps members to resist any financial inducement from politicians more so as some of them will serve as adhoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

Credit: The Sun

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *