The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, (TUC), on Monday demanded payment of a new minimum wage of N200,000 monthly for Nigerian workers.
It also demanded that the government reverted to the old N185 pump price of petrol per litre to allow for a conducive environment for negotiation.
The union, in a statement by its President and Secretary General, Festus Osifo and Nuhu Toro, respectively, said: “For immediate implementation: Status quo ante of PMS pump price should be maintained while discussion continues. The minimum wage should be increased from the current N30,000 to N200,000 before the end of June 2023, with consequential adjustments on the cost of living allowance, COLA, like feeding, transport, housing, etc.
“A representative of state governors will be party to this communiqué and all the governors must commit to implement the new minimum wage.
“Tax holiday for employees both in government and private sector that earn less than N200,000 or 500USD monthly whichever is higher. PMS allowance to be introduced for those earning between N200,000 and N500,000 or 500USD to 1,200USD whichever is higher.
“The exchange rate for retailing PMS in the country must be kept within a limit of two per cent for the next 10 years where the fluctuation is more than two per cent, the minimum wage will automatically increase at the same rate.
“Setting up of intervention fund where the government will be paying N10 per litre on all locally consumed PMS. The primary purpose of this fund is to solve perennial and protracted national issues in education, health and housing. A governance structure that will include labour, civil society and government will be put in place to manage the implementation.
“Federal government should provide mass transit vehicles for all categories of the populace. State governments should immediately set up a subsidized transportation system to reduce the pressure on workers and students. The framework around this will be worked out.
“Immediate review of the National Health Insurance Scheme to cover more Nigerians and prevent stock of drugs.
“Visitation of the refineries that are currently undergoing rehabilitation to ascertain the state of work and setting up a timeline for its completion.
“The president should direct whoever will be labour minister to immediately constitute the National Labour Advisory Council, NLAC. This platform will be used by the government, labour and employers to discuss issues and policies of the government that may affect workers and all other mandates as specified in the law.
“Provision of subsidy directly for food items, the $800million could be a first step. The existing National Housing Fund, NHF, should be made accessible to genuine workers; the framework on this must be discussed and agreed.”
TUC also said the medium term would include the “deployment of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) across the country, in line with the earlier promise made by the government. The framework and timeline will be developed and agreed by both parties.
“Labour and government to design a framework that will be geared towards the reduction of cost of governance by 15 per cent in 2024 and 30 per cent by 2025.
“A framework should be immediately put in place to maintain roads and expand the rail networks across the country. Government must design a framework for social housing policy for workers through a rent-to-own system.
“The state of electricity in the country must be appraised and an action plan should be defined with timelines on how to get this fixed.”
RSG Marks Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day In Low Key
The Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, has said that the state government would celebrate the 63rd Independence Day of the nation in low key, as directed by the Federal Government.
Briefing the Central Planning Committee on the development in his office in Port Harcourt, yesterday, Danagogo said that the church thanksgiving service and parade events would now hold on Sunday, October 1 as against Monday, October 2 earlier slated for the parade.
He added that the venue of the parade ground would now be the Government House at 2pm.
Danagogo noted that because the anniversary was going to be observed in low key, school children and voluntary organisations would no longer participate in the parade, as earlier planned.
The SSG further confirmed that the church service would still hold at the St. Paul’s Cathedral Church by Rebisi Flyover in Diobu at 10am.
He called on all invited guests to adjust their programmes to fit into the new schedule so as to ensure successful Independence Day celebration in the state.
Danagogo noted that the state Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, would inspect the Guard of Honour at the Government House Ground.
“Please, invited guests are requested to be seated before His Excellency arrives for all the events,” the SSG advised.
Suspend Planned Strike, Senate Begs Labour Unions
As Nigeria marks her 63rd anniversary of independence, today, the Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, has appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to suspend their plan to embark on an indefinite strike in the national interest.
Bamidele noted that the Federal Government and all its relevant agencies are working underground to come up with viable options in response to the demands of organised labour.
In a statement, yesterday, Bamidele congratulated Nigerians across all socio-economic and political strata on the 63rd anniversary since Nigeria became an independent nation.
Bamidele observed that Nigeria, from October 1, 1960 to date, despite her internal challenges, remained “a strong, united and indivisible nation that still provides strong leadership not only for West Africa but also the entire Africa.”
With the new government at the helm of affairs, Bamidele assured Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora that the federation would soon come out of diverse challenges undermining her progress, citing diverse development-driven reforms that the new government has initiated.
The Senate leader, therefore, urged Nigerians to team up with the new government to lead the federation out of the doldrums; implement key reforms that would create limitless opportunities for her teeming young population and rebuild global confidence in the country.
He, specifically, appealed to the leadership of the NLC and TUC not to embark on an indefinite strike in the national interest, saying such an action “will further inflict pains on Nigerians at the time the new government is working hard to address their concerns and grievances.
“At a time like this, labour unions are advised to embrace dialogue rather than consider options that will compound the sufferings of the people. At a time like this, all parties are supposed to go into negotiation with absolute trust in the new government.”
He noted that President Bola Tinubu’s economic reforms would soon begin to yield positive outcomes that would exponentially boost the standard of living among Nigerians irrespective of their socio-economic status.
The Senate leader hailed the founding fathers of Nigeria “for their unalloyed patriotism, towering nationalism, uncommon sacrifice and dogged struggle that culminated in the independence of the country on October 1, 1960.
“As Nigerians, we are under obligation to ensure that the labour of our heroes will never be in vain. I congratulate Nigerians as our nation turns 63 as a strong, united and indivisible nation that the world over is now waiting for to occupy her rightful place among nations.”
Bamidele enjoined Nigerians to maximise the opportunity inherent in their comradeship, willful togetherness and collective desire to further travel the journey ahead and make Nigeria a better place to proudly bequeath to the next generation.
He, however, reassured all stakeholders that the 10th Senate would continue to make impactful legislations for Nigeria’s common good; under the leadership of the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
NEC Pleads With Labour To Shelve Strike
The National Economic Council (NEC) has urged the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) not to abandon dialogue in their quest for better welfare for their members.
The Council also appealed to the unions to suspend their planned nationwide indefinite strike schedule to start on October 3.
Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State stated this while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the NEC meeting in Abuja, yesterday.
He said that the nation was at a very critical moment in its history, adding that some States took over such labour crisis when they assumed office in May.
According to him, some of such States just resolved the crisis and will be unfair for the labour to return to another industrial action.
The Plateau State governor said that the proposed industrial action would have immense effect on the economy of both the states and the Federal Government.
He said that the NEC expressed genuine concern about the situation in the country and appealed for calm and patience among Nigerians.
“The National Economic Council (NEC) deliberated on the planned indefinite strike by the National leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to proceed on an indefinite strike on Oct. 3, 2023.
“The council noted further the implications of the planned strike on the economy and the nation and thus urge members to continue to engage with the leadership of their respective states.
“It appeals to them to suspend the action and to continue on the path of dialogue with the Federal Government. This is the appeal of the council.”
Mutfwang said that the council appreciated the concerns raised by the NLC to have those issues addressed, adding that NEC also appealed for time to address the concerns of labour.
“We also believe that President Bola Tinubu will be addressing the nation on Oct. 1, and some of the concerns of labour will be appropriately addressed in the president’s speech.
“It is therefore important to note that it’s a federation issue, so whatever happens the labour is represented in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“And NEC is appealing that discussion should continue at the state levels because there will be peculiarities as to the issues to be addressed concerning the demands of labour and therefore dialogue is the way to go.
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