West Africa - Nigeria

Minimum Wage: NLC begins strike in 18 states.

It demanded a review of the power sector privatisation programme, since the law provides for one every two years.

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The union rejected deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry as long as it is import-driven, stressing that it negatively impacted on the welfare of the working-class family and the masses.

The Nigeria Labour Congress has directed workers in 18 states where the national minimum wage of N30, 000 had yet to be paid to immediately proceed on strike.

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The congress said about half the 36 states of the federation were yet to conclude negotiations on payment of the minimum wage.

Findings indicate that states that have not paid the minimum wage include Imo, Rivers, Osun, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Kwara, Zamfara, Gombe, Rivers and Ogun States.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the National Executive Council of the NLC on Wednesday.

In the communiqué jointly signed by the NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba and General Secretary, Mr Emma Ugboaja, the congress stated, “The NEC also resolved to view the refusal to pay the new national minimum wage by state governments as demanded by the law as an act of criminality, betrayal of the oath of office sworn by state chief executives and a dangerous adventure in anarchy.

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“The NEC-in-Session directed all states where the national minimum wage of N30,000 is yet to be paid to immediately proceed on industrial action.”

The union demanded a downward review of the template used in determining the pump price of petrol to stave off an imminent hike in the cost of the commodity following the rising price of crude oil in the international market.

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It further urged the Federal Government to reduce the cost of gas sold to electricity generating companies to $1.5 cents as a means of driving down electricity tariffs.

The union rejected deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry as long as it is import-driven, stressing that it negatively impacted on the welfare of the working-class family and the masses.

It called on the FG to rehabilitate local refineries as a sustainable solution to incessant increases in the pump price of petrol.

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On the electricity tariffs, the NLC asked the government to immediately address the conditions within its control that are driving up electricity tariffs.

It demanded a review of the power sector privatisation programme, since the law provides for one every two years.

“The NEC also calls for the reduction of the cost of gas to $1.5 cents and also the scrapping of the use of US and Nigeria inflation rates to determine the cost of gas to Gencos,” the communique added.

The NEC also admonished the government to do more in securing lives and property in the country.

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The union resolved to picket the Corporate Affairs Commission headquarters for three days for allegedly trampling on workers’ rights.

The NLC also resolved to issue a 14-day ultimatum to the management of Turkish Airline and Caverton Helicopter to reinstate all sacked trade union executives and desist from further anti-union actions.

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