NLC Spoils For Showdown As FG Reneges On Workers' Wages


Nigeria's public office holder' new wage which agreement was signed by the federal government, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) on July, 2011 is beginning to generate controversy due to the non-implementation of N18,000

 national remuneration raise, / has learnt.

NLC President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Ibrahim Omar, while raging of possible showdown by labour unions, had observed that the federal governments has resumed the devaluation of the currency in order to diminish the 18,000 national minimum wage as  part of its poverty inducing measures.

'As you all know,the NLC and TUC signed an agreement with the federal government on July 19,2011 on the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage. It was agreed that the implementation will commence from August 2011 with arrears paid from March 23, 2011. But as I speak to you four months later, the federal government has failed or refused to implement this agreement. It appears that elements within government with suicidal instincts want to provoke a general strike and mass protests on this issue.

'These elements also seem to be responsible for other provocative government programmes such as a proposal to hike electricity tariff by 100 percent, re-impose toll gate for non-motorable roads, and through a dubious constitutional amendment, annul the national minimum wage so that states and private employers can pay starvation wages. The NLC will never allow this to happen.

'The president Goodluck Jonathan administration is also deliberately devaluing the currency in order to devalue the 18,000 national minimum wages and its poverty inducing measures. Government's insistence to hike fuel prices by 120 percent will further complicate matters for hungry citizenry that has to cope with growing mas unemployment and nonexistence social security. This will be an invitation to open revolt by the citizenry and the NLC will be there to lead the people. The on-going repression of the Niger Youth council and students by president Jonathan's security goons, and attempts to suppress their protests against the IMF/World bank dictated removal of fuel subsidy will fail. In fact, a resort to dictatorship will spell doom for this administration.

'It is in this wise the labour movement demands that the Jonathan administration withdraws the armed soldiers it sent this morning to occupy the corporate Headquarters of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) the Katampe,Wuse zone 4 and Apo transmission stations in Abuja,the Olorunsogo centre, Ondo state, Ayede, The Egbin power station, the national control centre, Oshogbo and the Osogbo work centre.

'The militarization of the electricity centres is an important and vain attempt by government to force the deregulation of the PHCN. The NLC once again, appeals to government to be accountable and sensitive to the basic needs of the Nigerian people. We again appeal to the Jonathan administration not to toy with the prices of petroleum products as this will definitely lead to a conflagration in the country. The congress advises the federal government and state governments to realize that there can be no force in the country greater than the Nigerian people from whom all power must flow. Those who have ears, let them heed this advice', Comrade Omar asserted.