The Age-long Welfare Issues of Nigerian Workers

1st of May is the national public holiday in many countries, set aside to celebrate labors and the working classes. Nigerian workers are expected to join thousands of workers across the globe to mark the workers day, often refers to as the May-day.

Workers often use the May-day to draw attention to issues about their welfare with the aim of striking a better bargain for improved remuneration and industrial harmony.

Sustainable Development Goals

In Nigeria, the issue of upward review of the minimum national wage has been on the front burner. A tripartite committee comprising the representatives of government, labor and the private sector was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari in November last year. 
The committee was charged to come up with the living wage following the expression of the instrument of the current minimum wage of eighteen thousand naira.
Sustainable development goals
Cross-Section of Minimum Wage Committee Member

In setting up the tripartite committee, the president stated that the minimum wage is the minimum amount of compensation an employee receives for putting in his labor and as such, should be anchored on social justice and equity. Speaking further at the inauguration of the committee, President Buhari stressed the need of fair play.

He said, “We should go above the daily basic protection scale for all Nigerian workers and also consider the ability of each tier of government to pay. I therefore enjoy you all to collectively bargain in good faith, have neutral recognition for each other and always in the spirit of give and take.”
Now the President talked about fairness and the spirit of give and take.
Can the Nigerian worker be said to have been fairly treated over the years in terms of remuneration and total welfare package?
Most workers have had to contend with the sum of minimum wage of eighteen thousand naira, most pathetic is the problem of irregular payment of salaries. Most states of the federation blames the inability to meet up with workers’ salaries on positing of funds.

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Now that the Nigerian Labor Congress is pushing for a new national minimum wage of sixty six thousand naira, would an insolvent state be able to meet up? We watch out on the submission of NLC on the contentious minimum wage discuss.

Excogitate:
  • Examine the creative means beyond salaries through which an average worker can make ends meet in a harsh economic climate.
  • Examine the vex issue of casualization of workers as well as dig in to the productivity of an average Nigerian worker at the work-place.
  • Can the activity of the the workers at their duty post be said to be supportive or destructive?

THE REALITY OF THE NEW NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE

The Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) said sixty six thousand and five hundred naira national minimum wage is achievable. The Chairman, Bauchi State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Hashimu Muhammad Gital, was speaking on Raypower current affairs program, “FACTFILE”. He said the demand for salaries increment is crucial due to economic realities.
Chairman, Bauchi State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Hashimu Muhammad Gital

 

He said, “Last two years, sixty six thousand was proposed. Along the line within that two years, fuel price increase were made and no palliative measures in place and the organized labor are sad about the situation of the country and torching at other parameters, they agreed on sixty six thousand naira which is good. And the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammad Buhari has said that it is realistic.”
The Secretary General Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Comrade Bashir Aládé Lawal said there are resources in the country to meet up the demand of NLC on minimum wage.
Sustainable Development Goals
The Secretary General Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Comrade Bashir Aládé Lawal
The Secretary General said, “The current eighteen thousand naira minimum wage is very small.”
He said beyond the proposed minimum wage, poor workers welfare and slavery is another concern that needs urgent attention.

NIGERIAN WORKERS’ PRODUCTIVITY

Some workers have been alleged to be the instrument of massive looting and not really involved in contributing their quota to their nation building.
The Bauchi State Chairman of NLC, Comrade Hashim Muhammad Gital, refuted such allegation. He said the Nigerian workers are the most patient in the world.
He said, “If you want to accuse someone of low productivity, you have to also provide necessary things required to perform diligently.”
Credit: Produced by Yéwándé Iwoha assisted by Olutayo Somide @ Raypower Radio Network
 

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