The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has expressed worry over Federal Government’s promises to dispense wage award to workers since the removal of petrol subsidy in the country.
Mr Joe Ajaero, the NLC President said this in a statement while reacting to the President Bola Tinubu’s speech on Tuesday in Abuja.
The statement was titled, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Speech not the Silver Bullet that Nigerians expected”.
Ajaero said that the resident’s statement on working with Organised Labour to review the national minimum wage was out of sync with what had played out since the removal of petrol subsidy.
“In all the meetings scheduled by the government, Organised Labour has been forced to negotiate with empty chairs on the Federal Government’s side.
“As Federal Government has not matched its public promises with firm commitment to negotiate in good faith with labour.
“As a matter of fact, the sub-committee on wage award has not been inaugurated and has not met.
“Furthermore, organised labour is disturbed that while President Tinubu in his speech lavishly praised the Private Sector for quickly dispensing wage award to their employees, the Federal Government has failed to do the same for public workers in its employment.
“This is a clear case of failing woefully to live up to the standards it has set for others to meet,” he said.
He said that it was an open knowledge that the review of the national minimum wage was a matter of the law that was expected to happen in 2024.
“How would Nigerian workers cope with the current reality of hyper inflation and suffering unleashed by the hasty removal of the so-called petrol subsidy till 2024 when the national minimum wage would be reviewed? This is incredible.”
According to Ajaero, the claims of interventions by the Federal Government through palliatives, loans and conditional grants to poor Nigerians, big manufacturing companies and small businesses and provision of CNG buses remain what they are – promises!
According to the NLC president, Nigerians are used to such promises which have never produced any verifiable and meaningful changes in the lives of citizens.
He also noted that the entire speech by Mr President was completely silent on the issue of the repair of the national refineries.
He called on the Federal Government to unmask those behind the looting of Nigeria’s commonwealth under the guise of petrol subsidy.
“What Nigerians expected from Mr President is a firm commitment to bring these economic saboteurs to justice and recover what they have stolen,” he said.
He, therefore, assured Nigerians that NLC remained committed to matching discussions with government with the current realities of sufferings that Nigerians were going through.
“We remain committed to continue with our struggle,” Ajaero stated.