The Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB) has tasked the technical advisory committee on the implementation of an increase in national minimum wage on the quick signing into law of the new Minimum Wage Bill by the President.
The president of FOBTOB, Quadri Olaleye, in a congratulatory letter to the chairman of the committee, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, said the union expected the chairman to bring his wealth of experience to bear on the overall recommendations of the committee to the Presidency.
He said, “We do appreciate that this appointment is in recognition of your dint of hard work, integrity, capacity, competence, diligence and enviable achievement as an economist and your immense contributions to the improvement of our ailing economy.
“However, going by your achievements as an economist, we are optimistic that your assumption of office as the chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee would provide an avenue for all the previous committee reports to be adopted so as to present positions that will aid the passage of the Minimum Wage Bill,” he said.
Lamenting the plight of Nigerian workers, the FOBTOB president said the congratulatory message would not be complete without reiterating the fact that it is necessary for Rewane’s committee to take note that the essence of governance is to make life better for the citizenry, and the union believes that an upward review of the national minimum wage would better the lot of workers.
He stated that wage of N30,000 as requested by the organised labour will go a long way to reduce the hardship presently facing Nigerian workers.
“Mr. chairman, you would agree with me that the current minimum wage of N18,000 cannot meet the needs of an average Nigerian worker and the fact that some state government are still owing backlog of salaries and other allowances has further pauperised the affected workers,” he said.
He added that organised labour has pursued “this cause with a religious zeal because the minimum wage is the benchmark salary for both the private and public sectors. Hence, we are not happy with the slow pace at which the implementation is going, considering the rate of inflation that has moved to double digits, which is a pointer to the fact that the value of the naira has depreciated to the extent that Nigerian workers cannot afford the essentials of life.”
The FOBTOB president also charged Rewane to use his new appointment to strengthen the relationship between labour and government.