The Nigeria Labour Congress has admonished the Federal Government to halt all policies negatively impacting Nigerians in 2022, saying it would resist every attempt to inflict more pains on the citizens.
The congress also asked state governors to pay all outstanding national minimum wage, pension and benefits immediately.
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, in his New Year message made available to journalists in Abuja on Saturday, noted that some states have continued to violate the National Minimum Wage Act, 2019.
He said, “While most of the states in the North-West geopolitical zone have started implementing the new national minimum wage, there is an exception in the case of Zamfara State, which has refused to pay the national minimum wage and consequential salary adjustment to workers in the state.
“In the North-East, the exception is Taraba State, which is yet to fully implement the new national minimum wage. In the North Central, there are still challenges of full implementation in Benue and Kogi states. In the South-South, the weak link is Cross River State, which has spurned all negotiation agreements and entreaties to pay workers in the state the new national minimum wage and consequential salary adjustment.
“In the South-East, the Imo and Abia state governments remain thorns in the flesh of workers. In line with the directives of the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress, we have asked our state councils to commence industrial actions against the state governments that are yet to implement the new national minimum wage and pension.”
Wabba lamented what he described as the deceit and duplicity associated with the politics of petrol price increase by successive governments.
He noted, ‘’Our argument has been that there is a limit to the imposition of hardship and suffering on the fragile shoulders of the Nigerian people.
‘’It is gratifying that amidst the deteriorating conditions of living, organised labour was able to rise up to ensure that the masses of our people were not completely run over by market forces enabled by the anti-people policies of the government and at the whims of shylock capitalists.
‘’Still, the government is not relenting in its determination to push through further increases in the pump price of petrol and which as usual had been dubbed as ‘removal of petrol subsidy.’ Well, organised labour has made its position clear on this matter. We have told government in very clear terms that Nigerians have suffered enough and will not endure more punishment by way of further petrol and electricity price increases.’’
The labour leader stressed that the socio-economic pains inflicted by the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 continued to manifest throughout 2021, adding that the evidence of the dislocation could be identified in the hyper-inflation of basic goods and services.
Since Nigerians were exposed to the most turbulent and unpredictable market realities in the just concluded year, Wabba stated that the organised labour would reject any further increase “by all means.”