By Ugochukwu Alaribe – Umuahia
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, today took to the streets of Umuahia, from where they marched to the state House of Assembly, protesting the planned removal of minimum wage from the Exclusive Legislative List.
Speaking to journalists in Umuahia, the State NLC chairman, Comrade Eze Idima, said they came to express their rejection of the removal of the minimum wage from the exclusive list into the concurrent legislative list.
In his words; “We know that exclusive legislative lists are those lists that the federal government legislates on, therefore, removing the minimum wage from the exclusive list to the concurrent list will not be good to Nigerian workers.
“Now, we have it in the exclusive list, it has been very difficult for some state government to pay, let alone when it’s given to them, that means they are not going to give our members living wage and if they can’t get a living wage, it means they are not going to be productive and if they are not productive, the economy will suffer.
He continued: “And because we don’t want that to happen, the organized labour is saying no to removal of minimum wage from the exclusive list to the concurrent list. Tomorrow it will be 160 per litre, the next day it will be 175, the other day it will be 200 Naira per litre . We are saying that government should repair our refineries and build new ones so that fuel in Nigeria will not be costlier in Nigeria than even the country that buys it.
“And because of this incessant increase, the wage of workers cannot even take them for even two weeks. This is because most of them spend what they earn on transportation and their employer wants them to be in the office every day. How can someone with such shortages come to work? And if they don’t come to work, it affects productivity. We are saying let the mentioned come down so that our workers can go to work regularly.”
“The judicial council as provided in the Constitution is the body responsible for the appointment of Chief Judge of states and other high courts, we are saying we don’t want it to be removed from the exclusive list to the concurrent list so that under the National Assembly, laws can be made for it because if you give it to the State, the governor will determine who will be the Chief Judge.
“Thus, it will not allow for justice because they will now give it to their cronies or people who are loyal to them.”
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