Reps Support Demand for Living Wage By Nigerian Workers, Condemn Strike Approach

Reps Support Demand for Living Wage By Nigerian Workers, Condemn Strike Approach
House of Rep

The House of Representatives has demanded a living wage for Nigerian workers rather than the Federal Government’s proposed minimum wage.

The lawmakers, however, differed on the approach adopted by organized labor during the two-day strike by shutting down the national grid and closing the nation’s airports and health sector.

Rep. Ali Jesi (APC-Gombe) had moved a motion in Abuja on Tuesday on the urgent need to consider the imperatives of fixing a living wage for Nigerian workers to ameliorate current economic hardship.

Presenting his motion, the lawmaker commended the labor unions for their commitment toward negotiating a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers at such a critical period and resolved to call off the strike in the interim.

He said that in line with the provisions of Section 3(4) of the Act, the extant minimum wage which commenced on April 18, 2019, has expired after five years on April 18, 2024.

He, however, called for a further review of the existing Act.

Contributing to the debate, Rep Aliu Madaki (NNPP-Kano), noted that what the Nigerian workers needed was a living wage and not a minimum wage.

He added that the Federal Government should be able to pay a living wage, considering the economic situation in the country.

Rep. Kingsley Chinda, Minority Leader of the House said: “Can we say as leaders, we have carried out the purpose of governance which is hinged on security and the welfare of the people?

“Have we provided these basic needs which is our primary purpose of being elected, can someone who is earning N50,000 depend on such with the high cost of house rent,?”

According to him, we must be realistic by providing a living wage for workers, it is sad that the government is proposing a minimum wage.

He, however, cautioned the labor unions against overstepping boundaries, adding that switching off the national grid was not in the interest of the people they were fighting for.

“Some people are on life support at the hospital; some were at the airport to board a flight but could not make it due to the strike.”

He urged the lawmakers to expedite action on the yet-to-be-proposed minimum wage amendment bill once it was brought before it.

“Let us pass the minimum wage bill with the speed at which we pass the national anthem, the bill should be recalled and passed with the speed of light.”

Rep. Stanley Adedeji (APC-Oyo) said that following the shutting down of the national grid as a result of the strike, there was a need to criminalize such an act.

According to him, you cannot go on industrial action and kill people.

Rep. Benjamin Kalu, the Deputy Speaker of the house, who presided over plenary, said that people who were on essential services should not go on strike.

He said it was against the law for electricity workers, hospitals, and airports among others to go on strike.

He added that embarking on strike by those mentioned could have negative effects and disrupted activities.

Adopting the motion, the house urged the government to redirect the focus of the negotiations from fixing a new minimum wage to fixing a realistic living wage for Nigerians.

The house further urged the government to consider the downward review of electricity tariffs, to reduce the suffering of Nigerians.

The house also referred the matter to its Committee on Labour and Employment, to get back to it in one week.

Note: How do you think the federal government can prevent a reoccurrence of shutting down the country's National Grid and airports by the workers, all in the names of barking in an industrial action, bearing in mind, the negative implications these might have on the entire populace?

Category: World-News
Tag: Reps Support Demand for Living Wage By Nigerian Workers Condemn Strike Approach
Written by Author (author)
Published 6/5/2024 9:26:43 PM

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