I am pleased to see Buhari’s government engaging the labour union. That is the only sensible thing to do. The government has shown some form of respect and I pray Nigeria Labour Union (NLC) reciprocates. It is in the interest of the government to break down the advantages of subsidy removal to NLC and Nigerians at large. It is not enough to produce a press release and expect Nigerians on the street to buy a dictionary to help with the breakdown. That will not suffice. Break it down in lay man’s language. If it is required to get local influential leaders to convey the message in the local dialect, so be it. This is crucial. Also, NLC must be carried along with its manifestoes for workers. The more transparent, the better. Lastly, it is alright to propose N45,000 as minimum wage. What astonishes me is the low level of importance that is attached to prompt payment of workers salaries by all governments, Federal and states alike. Workers not paid salaries for months will look elsewhere to feed their families. This is what breeds corruption. – Jide Salu
Three days to the threatened mass action against government’s increase in the price of petrol, indications emerged yesterday that the Federal Government would meet organised labour today in Abuja over the issue, dangling a carrot before labour leaders.
The Guardian learnt that at the meeting slated for 3:00 p.m. at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, the Federal Government will be coming to the parley with the proposal for a new minimum wage that is fixed at N45, 000. But the increase comes with some provisos including a reduction in the number of civil servants and merging ministries and agencies.
Indeed, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba confirmed the scheduled meeting saying he got a text message inviting him and other labour leaders to the meeting.
A source in the Presidency told The Guardian that ministers had been told to lead the initiative to the downsizing. Also, the Efficiency Unit in the Federal Ministry of Finance, which is saddled with coming up with cost reduction strategies is working on the template for the reduction.
The Federal Government would also be relying on the report of the Steve Oronsaiye’s panel on the rationalisation of the civil service in the streamlining process.
It was also learnt that though the government said it would not devalue the naira, it would indeed embark on what it termed ‘appropriate’ value of the national currency, which may be in the region of N283 to the dollar.