The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has commended the Senate for endorsing the N30, 000 monthly National Minimum Wage as recommended by the Tripartite Committee set up by the Federal Government.
The president of Congress, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, said the new wage will in no small measure give the workers a sense of belonging.
Comrade Kaigama, however, noted that while the organised labour appreciates the approval of the new wage, it is also instructive to note that inflation has seriously affected its purchasing power, adding that prices of commodities went up even when employers have not commenced payment.
According to him, “the N30,000 monthly National Minimum Wage that we are even asking for to a family of six actually amounts to less than N50 per meal per person. It is exclusive of utility bills, school fees, etc.
“Given our extended family system as Africans we are also expected to once in a while extend hands of fellowship to parents, in-laws, relations, friends who have lost their jobs, brothers and people of the same faith.
We recall that some lawmakers promised to give the wage bill supersonic attention whenever it was brought before them and they have kept to their word. To us it means we still have men and women with milk of kindness left in them.”
He, therefore, called on the 9th Assembly and well meaning Nigerians to prevail on governors to pay workers their salaries and pension as and when due to avoid crisis in the industrial sector. The workers have endured enough, after all, “we warned those who feel they cannot pay the new wage to stay away from politics.” And for those claiming that it is only when VAT is increased government can pay, he advised them to drop such evil counsel.
The TUC boss appreciated the Federal Government, lawmakers and Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) for seeing reason with the workers.