- The nationwide protests by the Nigerian workers union is now happening in front of the National Assembly
- Aggrieved workers are in front of the parliament building to air their grievances to federal lawmakers
- The latest street processions were triggered by a controversial bill in the House of Representatives
The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) are currently leading thousands of workers to the National Assembly to protest against plans to amend the national minimum wage act.
Some of the protesters spotted by Legit.ng via social media carried placards with inscriptions such as: “On National Minimum Wage We Stand,” “No To Minimum Wage on Concurrent List” and “Yes To Minimum Wage on Exclusive List.”
Shortly before proceeding to the NASS, NLC president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba addressed the workers.
According to him, minimum wage issues are not to be toyed with, insisting that workers who generate the wealth of the nation, deserve a fair minimum wage.
The protests are also taking place in Lagos and other cities of the federation.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that following the failure of some state governors to start the payment of the new N30,000 minimum wage, the NLC instructed its members to embark on immediate industrial action.
The National Executive Council, NEC, of the NLC called the refusal of state governments to pay the new national minimum wage an act of criminality.
Speaking on the continual hikes in electricity tariff, the NEC resolved that government must immediately address the conditions within its control that are driving up electricity tariff in Nigeria.
The NLC also rejected the concession of Nigeria’s airports and other considerations for privatization, describing it as a great disservice to the Nigerian people and a betrayal of the efforts of Nigerian workers especially those employed in the aviation sector.
Meanwhile, Philip Shaibu, the deputy governor of Edo state, has kicked against a bill seeking to switch minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list.
Shaibu, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday, March 4, in Benin, advised the sponsor of the bill in the House of Representatives to step it down.
The deputy governor instead advised the lawmaker to move motions and sponsor bills that would support programmes geared toward finding lasting solutions to the problems of insecurity in the country.
In a related development, a former Anambra state governor Peter Obi has frowned at reports of the government paying bandits ransom to free those abducted by the criminal gangs.
Obi a former vice presidential candidate, said such actions by the government are inimical to the economic growth of Nigeria.
He noted that while the government is comfortable paying bandits, the authorities have refused to pay those contributing to the economy like lecturers, researchers, and intellectuals.
Lawmaker behind controversial minimum wage bill speaks, reveals what protesting labour leaders should do
Jerrywright Ukwu is an Abuja-based senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.