Senate Support Increment Of Minimum Wage, To Mark International Workers Day
Senate Support Increment Of Minimum Wage, To Mark International Workers Day.
• Ekweremadu, has backed the demand for a review of the monthly National Minimum Wage, for atleast 50,000 naira.
• It would be difficult to wage a successful war against graft in the absence of a reasonable wage for workers.
• NASS will speed up passage of minimum wage bill – Dogara.
It’s May 1st, workers in Nigeria and around the world are taking the day off in observance of the official workers day, also known as International Labour Day.
The holiday was first promoted by the international workers association in 1904, to commemorate the slaughter of protesting labourers in Haymarket Square in Chicago, the USA in 1886.
In accordance to mark workers day celebration, the deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has backed the demand for a review of the monthly National Minimum Wage. The Deputy Senate President stated this in his message to commemorate the occasion of the 2018 International Workers’ Day.
In his words, “I salute the Nigerian workers for their immense sacrifice, labour, resilience, and patriotism, which have kept Nigeria going. They have also not relented even in the face of untold challenges and hardship.” I support workers’ demand for a new minimum wage and the ongoing negotiations initiated by the government to that effect.
“Even if the workers cannot have exactly the N66,500 new monthly National Minimum Wage, which they currently demand, they should have at least N50,000 as the new monthly minimum wage”.
“However, we must take the necessary steps to lighten their burdens, especially in the face of excruciating economic realities and in line with the anti-corruption crusade.“ It is becoming more difficult for workers to survive on N18,000 minimum wage. It is absolutely less than a living wage. The take-home pay has left most workers stranded on the road as it is becoming very difficult for an average worker to take care of essential needs, especially in the absence of basic amenities.
In a statement by his spokesman, Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu reiterated that it would be difficult to wage a successful war against graft in the absence of a reasonable wage for the workers.
“A new, reasonable, and realistic minimum wage is central to the war against corruption because we cannot in good conscience expect that the citizens will wholeheartedly fight corruption on an empty stomach.“ That is why the basic responsibility of any government is the welfare and security of the citizens and their property so that they are not tempted to resort to self-help. The Nigerian workers deserve a better deal”, he added. He, therefore, wished the workers a happy Labour Day celebration.
Meanwhile, Dogara has promised NASS Will Speed Up Passage Of Minimum Wage Bill.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has promised that the National Assembly will work toward improving the welfare of workers.
To ensure this, the Speaker said the National Assembly would speedily pass the minimum wage bill once it is presented to it. Mr Dogara made the promise via his Twitter handle on Tuesday. Labour unions in the country have been holding talks with the Federal Government about the need to review the minimum wage upwards.
According to labour leaders, the current minimum wage of N18,000 which has been in effect for at least seven years does not capture the current realities and is insufficient.
As a result of the demands, the Federal Government had in May 2017 set up a National Minimum Wage Committee to come up with a new minimum wage for the country. Mr Dogara, who acknowledged the importance of workers to the growth and prosperity of Nigeria, said once the committee completes their task and a bill is presented to the National Assembly, the lawmakers would do their part.
“We see the struggles you go through to survive on wages that can barely last through the first week of the month. We commend your courage, your commitment to service and nation building and urge you to continue supporting government policies,” he tweeted.