N30,000 Minimum Wage: We Have Been Swindled, TUC Laments

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The Trade Union Congress (TUC), has lamented the delay on the part of the federal government in finalising the negotiations on the new N30,000 minimum wage.

The Labour organisation in its independence anniversary message issued on Sunday and jointly signed by its President of the congress, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, and the Secretary-General, Comrade Musa-Lawal Ozigi, said Nigerians workers have been swindled by the government.

“To talk about setting up another Committee over the same issue makes us feel we have been swindled. We have learnt our lessons” they said.

“We find it disturbing that months after the National Minimum Wage Committee (NMC) set up by the Federal Government to work on the new wage had submitted their report government is still not committed to paying the new wage. We are beginning to think that signing it in the first place was because of the 2019 General elections.

“The argument on the part of government has always been that there is no money to pay minimum wage whereas lawmakers have budgeted N5.6bn to purchase automobiles that are not produced in Nigeria.

“Our belief is that government can actually pay if only the cost of governance will be reduced. As long as some people continue to feel that they are more Nigerian and therefore should enjoy more than others we cannot have a sane society.”

On the prevailing insecurity in the country, they said, “The billions of Naira that should be invested to create jobs and build infrastructure are yearly budgeted for arms and ammunition, yet there appear to be no end in sight. We are beginning to think that there are people feeding from our insecurity challenge. This must be investigated and culprits brought to book.

“In the last 10 years according to report, Boko Haram sect have killed about 27, 000 civilians and 24 aid workers. We have a dire situation in our hand. The war on agitations is arising from what some call marginalization.

“There is need for inclusiveness in governance. People should be given a sense of belonging. All the regions are still deficient in terms of basic infrastructure and therefore should be attended to. No country can make any significant progress where there is absence of justice and equity. A united Nigeria can truly be stronger than European Union but a lot depends on the leadership.”

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