James Ojo, Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has insisted it would resist attempt by any state governments to pay below N30,000 to the least worker.
Declaring open a one-day stakeholders meeting on the implementation of the minimum wage at the state level, yesterday, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba reaffirmed that the minimum wage is a constitution issue that could not be breached.
“All of us are aware that from the day the president signed the minimum wage into law, it became enforceable, it can be enforced through court of law and certainly there is no excuse for any state to say they are not going to respect a law that is actually based on the constitution. The national minimum wage is actually a constitutional issue, so clearly it is about respecting our laws.”
The essence of the meeting with the state chairmen, representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the Joint Public Service Negotiation council and also the head of services of selected states, he explained, was to have a seamless implementation at the state level.
Through the meeting, the NLC president said stock would be taken on which state has started implementing, those in the process and those yet to start.
In his message, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige applauded the gathering as it would afford the union to know the level of preparation by states to implement the minimum wage. He was represented by Mrs. Franca Adikwe.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has cried out over the hardships, pains and tears they go through in a bid to receive their pensions.
In a 19-page address by its president, Dr. Abel Afolayan, the pensioners accused government at all levels of deliberate efforts to denigrate retirees after their labour of service to the society.
For instance, the union lamented the arrears of N20 billion arising from the contributory pension increment of 15 per cent and 33 per cent approved in 2007 and 2010 respectively.
Also outstanding is the short fall of 5 per cent payment which the union put at about N62.83 billion.
“These two outstanding arrears are always budgeted for in our annual rituals of budgeting, but yet they are removed completely without taking into consideration that pension payment is classified in budget series as a first line charge,” he said.