From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has instructed its members in states where the new N30,000 minimum wage has not been commenced, to embark on and immediate industrial action.
The NLC disclosed this on Thursday in a statement signed by its National President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and its General Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ughoaja at the end of National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
According to the Communique, the NEC of the NLC called the refusal of state governments to pay the new national minimum wage as an “act of criminality, betrayal of the oath of office sworn by state chief executives and a dangerous adventure in anarchy.
“The NEC-in-Session directed all states where the national minimum wage of N30000 is yet to be paid to immediately proceed on industrial action,” the union stated.
Speaking on the continual hikes in electricity tariff, the NEC resolved that government must immediately address the conditions within its control that are driving up electricity tariff in Nigeria. Calling for a review of the power sector privatization programme, the union said it is already overdue for review since the law provides for a review of the privatization program after 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 NEC also called on government to step up on the mass distribution of meters to electricity consumers all over Nigeria. In order to ensure strict follow up and compliance, the NEC recommends the setting up of an oversight taskforce outside the purview of NERC and DISCOs.”
On the increase in fuel price, the NEC resolved to reject deregulation as long as it is import driven. They said: “NEC reiterated the traditional position of Congress that government should rehabilitate and revamp Nigeria’s local refineries as a sustainable solution to incessant increases in the pump price of petrol.
“The NEC posited that Nigeria’s refineries can be made to work in a short time once government asserts the political will to do so. The NEC also urged the Nigerian government to find ways and means to shield Nigerian citizens from the volatilities in the international crude oil market. The NEC also demanded that the template used in determining the pump price of PMS which includes inbuilt charges and inflationary trend should be reviewed to the benefit of Nigerians. NEC called for modular refineries in order to bring down the price of diesel.”
The NLC also rejected the concession of Nigeria’s airports and other considerations for privatization. It described it as a great disservice to the Nigerian people and a betrayal of the efforts of Nigerian workers especially those employed in the aviation sector.