The Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have expressed worry over the delay by the Federal Government to constitute the 29-member National Minimum Wage Committee billed to work on the new minimum wage for workers.
The unions which described the delay as dangerous and capable of overstressing the patience of Nigerian workers beyond limit also rejected the position by Vice President Oluyemi Osinbajo that the minimum wage would be selectively implemented.
While the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba demanded that the committee must be inaugurated immediately so that the process could go on, the TUC said in a communique after its National Executive Council (NEC), that the minimum wage implementation should be holistic and not selective.
“You are aware that the issue of minimum wage is very topical. While there was a pronouncement to constitute the committee, they have requested for our list which we have sent. Therefore, the committee needs to be inaugurated so that the process can go on.”
In the communique signed by the TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and the Secretary General, Comrade Musa Lawal Ozigi, the congress condemned the suggestion by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, that the minimum wage would be selectively implemented.
The TUC described such statement as retrogressive and therefore unacceptable.
According to the communique “The NEC-in-session condemned the delay to constitute the 29 members committee of National Minimum Wage for the country.
“The house calls on the Federal Government not to task the patience of workers beyond limit as the current wage structure is no longer tenable when viewed against the economic reality on the ground.
“The NEC-in-session further condemns the suggestion by the Vice President that the minimum wage would be selectively implemented on Nigerian workers as retrogressive and therefore unacceptable.
“The NEC-in-session kicks against it and demands that the minimum wage implementation should be holistic and not selective. Minimum wage is for all and remains and should remain in the exclusive list.”
On the bailout fund and Paris Fund, the congress observed that previous funds were not used for the purposes they were meant for.
“The bailout funds and the Paris funds have become the latest source of corruption among our political leaders. The NEC calls on the Federal Government to direct the EFCC, ICPC to probe the use of the funds.”
It also decried the absence of TUC on Government Boards, adding, “NEC-in-session also observes the conspicuous omission or non-inclusion of TUC in boards of parastatals and government agencies in matters that concern employees.
“NEC-in-session also calls for review of all laws in which one labour centre is named and the other left out so that representation will be fair and just to all workers.”