Executive Secretary, Organisation of Trade Unions in West Africa (OTUWA) , Mr John Odah has called for a united labour movement in the country.
Odah made the call while speaking with newsmen recently in Abuja at the event of NLC at 40 years. The Tide source reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will celebrate its 40 years of its existence on February 26.
He said that the unity of the labour unions in the country was imperative as there was gross mismanagement of the nation’s economy, while the workers are at the receiving end.
According to him, the celebration of NLC at 40, is an opportunity to energise the working people and to encourage them.
“Therefore, there is need for workers to protect and defend NLC as an organisation, irrespective of industrial unions, they are affiliated to NLC and trade unions in various workplaces.
“So, the massage of the 40 years of NLC is for workers to be vigilant, steadfast and defend the movement.
“The celebration will also provide the NLC an opportunity to look into the future, the challenges it is currently facing and therefore, work on the strategies to overcome the challenges.
“It will enable them to plan, so that the next 10 or 20 years and more, it will become stronger.
That when it comes to mobilisation of its membership, workers will be able to respond to the call and the movement will be able to defend the interest of the working people, ‘’he said.
Odah further noted that NLC had survived the 40 years in spite of the imagination of various governments to crush it.
He said that NLC needed to celebrate in order to carry the massage that it was when you struggle that you could hope about getting victory.
He, however, noted that the current leadership of the NLC took over in 2015 from Mr Abdulwaheed Omar, adding that Mr Joe Ajearo and Mr Igwe Achese had refused to show good sportsmanship by refusing to concede to defeat.
“They have tried to flout an alternative NLC and now form a new centre, but the truth of the situation is that NLC remains strong and standing.
“Even though the perception of the public is that we are divided which is unfortunate in the life of this movement these things happened.
“My hope is that our colleagues who are trying to continue the division within the labour movement will see reasons and reunite with the NLC to achieve its aims and purpose, ‘’Odah said.
Odah also said that the activities lined up for the celebration include three lectures on ‘NLC Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, the Future of Work and as well as Labour, Politics and Good Governance.’
He said three different topics had been selected with highly informed people to talk on and that the outcome of the massage would be translated into concrete action by workers and the leadership of NLC.
Labour Lauds Rivers Assembly Over Power Devolution
The organised labour in Rivers State has commended the Rivers State House of Assembly for backing power devolution in the country.
Speaking to The Tide, the chairperson, Nigeria Labour Congress Comrade Beatrice Itubo explained that the decision of the members of the assembly is a step in the right direction and good for the unity and stability of the country.
Itubo added that the lawmakers should call for contributions and input of the key stakeholders before passing into law several bills in the House.
She stressed that allowing critical stakeholders to make input would strengthen the tenets of democracy in the state and indeed Nigeria as majority of the people would better appreciate the bills through dissemination from the stakeholders.
She enjoined the Assembly to reexamine the issue of the local government autonomy proposed by both chambers of the National Assembly, stressing that the congress strongly believe that granting autonomy to the local government councils in Nigeria would strengthen and deepen democracy in the country.
The NLC boss added that the organised labour would continue to mobilize its members to support the assembly to perform its constitutional legislative duties in the state.
She further explained that labour in the state is prepared to partner the assembly in its determination to address the plight of the workers in the state.
She added that the organised labour would continue to commend the state government in its efforts to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.
Ex-NLC Boss Tasks FG On Minimum Wage
A former President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Abdulwaheed Omar has urged the Federal Government to always implement the law on regular review of the national minimum wage to promote national growth.
Omar gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Abuja last Monday.
He said that the call for government to tackle the issue about minimum wage review had become important because of the delay in the implementation of the law.
According to him, the national minimum wage law prohibits employers from hiring workers for less than a given hourly, daily or monthly take home pay.
“The law was established to address issues faced by workers, I think the cause for review of the national minimum is welcomed; it is just that it is almost belated.
“The issue of minimum wage is an aspect of our law; it is now part of our law in Nigeria, so I did not even expect that it will take much time.
“In the first place, the law provides that the minimum wage should be reviewed every five years; the five years elapsed since 2015.
“So, I had expected that that very year government should have set up a tripartite committee then.
“It is not something that government should wait until NLC threatens to embark on strike before it sets up committee, it is about the law that should be respected,” Omar said.
He said although government had promised to review the national minimum wage by the third quarter of the year, it should put measures in place to sustain such and ensure effective implementation.
He said the N18, 000 minimum wage was long overdue for review and urged government to act promptly to improve the economic well-being of workers.
PenCom Recovers N1.34bn Pension
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has recovered pension contributions and interest totalling N1.34billion from defaulting employers during the third quarter of 2017.
The Commission in its 2017 third quarter report posted on its website said it used 55 consultants as recovery agents to get back the outstanding pension contributions and penalties from the defaulting employers.
PenCom said the affected employers were issued with appropriate notice to remit the outstanding pension contributions.
“During the quarter, the sum of N1.34 billion was recovered, this brings the total recoveries made since inception of the Recovery Agents’ activities in 2012 to N13.58 billion,” it stated.
On Pension contributions within the period, it indicates that the total monthly pension contribution by contributors from the public and private sectors into their Retirement Saving Accounts (RSA) was N4.38 trillion.
This, it said showed an increase of N135.22 billion representing 3.18 per cent over the total contributions as at the end of the previous quarter.
According to the report, the aggregate total contribution shows that the public sector contributed 51.34 per cent, while the private sector contributed the remaining 48.64 per cent.
It, however, pointed out that during the quarter under review; the public sector contributed 40.87 per cent of the total contributions received while the private sector contributed 59.13 per cent.
It further revealed that the aggregate total pension contribution of the private sector increased from N2.05 trillion as at second quarter of 2017 to N2.13 trillion as at third quarter of 2017, representing a growth of 3.89 per cent.
Also, the aggregate total pension contribution by the public sector grew by 2.52 per cent from N2.20 trillion to N2.25 trillion over the same period.
The statement noted that the commission continued the ongoing refund of contributions made by military and other security service agencies personnel exempted from the contributory pension scheme.
It added that during the quarter under review, the department responsible for military pensions processed 254 applications for the refund.
PenCom said N39.83 million was refunded to the contributors while the sum of N127.13 million, representing contributions made by the Federal Government on their behalf was returned to the contributory pension account.
The statement also indicated that 27 state governments have enacted laws to implement the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) as at the third quarter of 2017, while eight states were currently in the process of implementing the CPS law.
The report revealed that Yobe was, however, yet to commence the process of enacting a law on the CPS.
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