Ayuba Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has declared that workers may shut down the country again if the Nigerian government does not show seriousness to implement the new minimum wage.
Wabba said this on Monday in Abuja at a symposium with the theme: ‘Making Nigeria Work for the people’ organised by the NLC to mark Nigeria’s 57th Independence Day.
Wabba lamented that one of the problems facing Nigeria was the absence of good governance.
“This crisis of good governance is exemplified by the massive corruption in our body politics.
“This in turn is responsible for the huge unemployment crisis, poor service delivery and continuous absence of dividends of democracy for majority of our people.
“The latest manifestation of this is the refusal by a number of states government to fulfill their elementary obligations to their workers by not paying salaries and pensions as at when due.
“So, for us in the congress, we look at restructuring as that which cannot be a substitute for good governance and respect for the rule of law,’’ he said.
Wabba warned that as long as the political and bureaucratic elites continue to misappropriate resources meant for development, the nation would not overcome its challenges.
The labour leader called on the Federal Government to reconstitute the National Minimum Wage Negotiating Council to negotiate a new minimum wage for workers.
He warned that workers were running out of patience over the delay to reconstitute the Minimum Wage Negotiating Council.
“The 2011 collective agreement entered into with the government at the last negotiations, provided for five years cycle for reopening negotiations, which is overdue.
“Secondly, all economic indexes such as inflationary rate, cost of living, exchange rate, high cost of goods and services, among others, have shown that the current minimum wage of N18, 000 is obsolete.
“There is an urgent need for the government to give the go ahead for these negotiations to start as workers are running out of patience,’’ he said.
Wabba also stressed the need for the government to address the issue of provision of employment for the teeming unemployed youths