…Ogun finalises talks with union
…Osun inaugurates committee on implementation
…Minister assures of commitments to workers’ welfare
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is set to tackle governors who failed to meet the December 31 deadline for the implementation of the New Minimum Wage.
In his New Year message, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, asked state councils to await directive on the next line of action.
“In tandem with our position as adopted and communicated after a stakeholders’ meeting on Dec.ember 11, 2019, organised labour will not guarantee industrial harmony in states that fail to implement the new national minimum wage by December 31, 2019.
“We direct our state councils to be on the standby to robustly engage state governments that fail to obey our laws. We wish to remind state governors that no excuse would be good enough for failure to pay.
“The ongoing revelations on the monumental looting perpetrated by former governors prove that only an intent to loot and deadened conscience, not availability of resources, would be the reason any Governor would hesitate to pay workers the N30,000 new national minimum wage and the consequential adjustment in salaries.
“The new national minimum wage is now a law and State Governors do not have the luxury to choose whether to pay or not.”
He commend states already paying the new national minimum wage and consequential adjustment in salaries for assuming the pacesetter status.
Wabba said in 2020, the NLC would mount a robust campaign for the generation of mass jobs and for already existing jobs to be decent.
He disclosed that NLC was perfecting plans for a National Job Summit in 2020 where it will get stakeholders, experts, policymakers, concerned demographics and workers on a roundtable to find answers and solutions to Nigeria’s burgeoning unemployment crisis.
The NLC president said the congress have resolved to protect, promote and prioritise workers’ and pensioners welfare.
He also said the congress would continue to be the voice for the oppressed and downtrodden.
“We will dare the enemies of Nigerian workers and people and we will triumph by the grace of God. Nigerian workers under the leadership of the NLC will continue to work assiduously towards the promotion of national security, peace and unity.
“We will continue to put the needed weight on the things that unite us and hold in contempt the things that seek to divide us.”
To avert industrial crisis, Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun has inaugurated a committee to work out modalities for the implementation.
Spokesman for the governor, Ismail Omipidan, in a statement in Osogbo said Oyetola inaugurated the committee on Tuesday.
The governor urged members of the committee to ensure they arrived at a reasonable amount of increment that would ensure government continued to pay salaries as and when due.
Oyetola, who said his administration would work through the committee to arrive at a soft landing that would be pleasing to both workers and government, commended labour leaders and the entire workforce for their cooperation and sense of understanding in the last one year.
“I thank the leadership of labour for their level of cooperation in the last one year. You made my transition from Chief of Staff to governor very simple. The welfare of workers is very important to me. That’s why we pay their salaries promptly and in full.
“We’re committed to paying the new minimum wage. But we need to now double up our IGR. It is very important to collectively drive the IGR because it is the only source for payment of the minimum wage.
“Thank God we’ve spent one year without rancour, no strike. We’ll work together to have a safe landing that will be acceptable to the two parties. I’m delighted to see this committee being inaugurated.”
Oyetola also gave an assurance that nothing would stop him from payment of full salaries as and when due.
Chairman, Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), Bayo Adejumo, gave an assurance that labour leaders would cooperate with government in the negotiation.
On his part, Ogun Governor, Dapo Abiodun, said his administration was in the final stage of discussion with abour on the implementation of the new minimum wage.
Abiodun made the disclosure in his New Year message, yesterday.
He noted that the state’s public service remained the engine room of government and a critical stakeholder, pointing out that the recent appointment of eight permanent secretaries in the state civil service would strengthen the bureaucracy to effectively and efficiently perform its function as the engine room of government.
Meanwhile, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has demanded from workers honesty and diligence in service, while assuring of government’s commitments to their welfare.
Ngige said the understanding showed by workers over the challenges the Federal Government faced in repositioning the economy and sanitising the polity since 2015 was commendable, adding that the Federal Government has in appreciation made enormous sacrifices to protect the workers and secure their future.
“The workforce we inherited in 2015 was one seriously demoralised by decade long unpaid salaries and allowances; a restive workforce with simmering agitations and perennial threats of strike. It was a workforce challenged down by private sector retrenchments and varying unfair labour practices.