Organised labour on Tuesday in Abuja, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately transmit the new National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, President of Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) made the call at a protest rally.
Our correspondent recalled that National Executive Council of NLC, threaten to embark on a nationwide protest on Jan. 8, if the Federal Government fails to send the Tripartite Committee Report on N30,000 Minimum Wage to NASS.
The organiseed labour gave the ultimatum following President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that a “high powered technical committee,” would be set up to device ways to ensure that its implementation did not lead to an increase in the level of borrowing.
Wabba said the protest rally served as a warning to the Federal Government before a nationwide strike if government continued to delay the transmission of the Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly.
According to Wabba, workers welfare and wellbeing must be paramount, that was why we insist “this rally must take place across the length and breadth of the country.
“Today in every government house in Nigeria, the protest is taking place, and here we are in the office of the Minister of the FCT.
“We want to say that workers are very central to economic development and very central to the prosperity of any country and therefore we cannot be described as the tiny minority.
“Workers are very productive, we built the Nigerian economy, we fought for democracy, rule of law and good governance and there is no way we can be described as tiny minority, as we service the entire country.
“So workers must be able to take care of their families, send their children to school, but today, workers are not able to feed three times a day or send their children to school.
“Because minimum wage of N18,000 is no longer realistic to take care of workers’ needs,’’ he said.
Wabba said that N30,000 was agreed on, adding that Nigerian economy is capable of sustaining the new minimum wage.
“We are here to submit our letter of protest and demand like our states councils are doing in their various states right now, to the FCTA Minister for onward transmission to Mr President.
“We want to call on Mr President for the onward transmission of the bill to the National Assembly as the protest rally served as a warning before a nationwide strike,’’ he said.
Mr Amechi Asugwah, the President, Construction and Wood Workers Union of Nigeria, who spoke, decried government’s posture towards the implementation of the national minimum wage.
He said that workers decided to take the action, because they “ have waited more than enough, and we are running out of patience.
“As a matter of fact, we do not need to serve another notice before embarking on a nationwide strike.
“We have decided to take strong action to drive the issue of the minimum wage as it concerns workers in the country, “he added.
Mr Lazarus Gaza, Head of Human Resources in the FCTA, who received the protest letter from the NLC president, assured that the letter would be delivered accordingly.
Sen. Shehu Sani, who represents Kaduna Central, said he was there to lend his support for the struggle for the new national minimum wage.