Governor Aregbesola urges labour to demand fair minimum wage

Governor Aregbesola urges labour to demand fair minimum wage

- Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state says government will not create a difficult situation for workers considering the fundamental cost of living index in the country

- He states that socio consequences of a poor wage must be a concern to all those involved in the negotiation process

- Labour union rejects N18,000 minimum wage

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun has advised the organised Labour to demand for fair, just and implementable national minimum wage for the Nigerian workers in the country.

Aregbesola said this during the tripartite committee on national minimum wage public hearing in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Thursday, April 26, in Abuja.

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News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the organised labour had submitted a memorandum to the tripartite committee, demanding for a monthly National Minimum Wages of N66, 500.

Aregbesola, who is also the chairman, tripartite committee on the national minimum wage, north central sub-committee, said the cost of living in any economy must influence the wages paid to the workers.

According to him, the government will not create a difficult and challenging situation considering the fundamental cost of the living index in the country.

We must equally consider the value of output vis-a-vis the ratio of the value of input in production, which is called productivity.

“The productivity of each worker must go a long way to determine an effective and fair wage for that worker.

“I want you to understand that when it comes to wage we are simply looking at how best to ensure that our national economy is supported by what is paid to the Nigerian workers,‘’ he said.

He, however, noted that the socio consequences of a poor wage must be a concern to all those involved in the negotiation process.

He said that the tripartite committee has taken note of the memorandum submitted by the organised labour and urged them to also consider the active workers and the passive workers.

Also, Hajiya Amina Abubakar, director human resources, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FTCA), said the public hearing on the minimum wage was timely and laudable.

Abubakar called on the committee to bear in mind the current economic realities and the high cost of living, particularly as it affects the low and middle income earners in the country.

She said that the FCTA has critically examined the issues and has observed that the plan review should be juxtaposed with government revenue profile to ensure hitch free implementation upon approval.

“There is need for the committee to consider recommending of salary structure of relativity among all Federal Government establishments.

“A situation where some government parastatals pay enhanced salary structures and allowances for their work force, while others especially core ministries pay regular salary structures. This could be somehow demoralising.

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“Investigation indicates that some junior officers in these parastatals earn more than some directors in the core Ministries, Departments and Agencies,‘’ she said.

She, however, called on the committee to also advocate for the downward review of the salaries and allowances of such parastatals.

Abubakar called on the committee to consider the review and reintroduction of some allowances that should mitigate obvious disparity.

“There is a need to take into account the expensive nature of the FCT vis-ais-vis high cost of living, housing and transportation among others.

“There also a need to consider special allowances for the FCT workers, adding that the proposed review should be fair, just and considerate,” she added.

Meanwhile, some workers in the country have said they will no longer accept N18,000 as minimum wage when a senator collects N13.5m monthly as a running cost.

Leadership reports that the workers under the auspices of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) also faulted the slow pace of work on the issue of minimum wage.

The union called on workers to resist the claim by the political class that there was insufficient resources to pay minimum wage.

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