Workers in Oyo State also joined their colleagues across states on a rally to sensitise members of the public, government officials, legislators and other stakeholders on their demand for an upward review of the minimum wage from N18,000 to N30,000.
Tuesday’s rally in Ibadan saw the workers under the auspices of their labour centres, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), make their voices heard in areas of Ibadan like Agodi gate, Total Garden, Mokola, Parliament Road and State Secretariat.
At each of their stopovers, Chairman of NLC, Mr Waheed Olojede and his TUC counterpart, Mr Olusola Ogundiran, stressed that it was incumbent upon the federal government to implement the payment of N30,000 minimum wage agreed upon by the tripartite committee comprising the federal government, labour centres and Organised Private Sector.
Speaking, Olojede condemned as shameful the statement credited to the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige that the federal government did not agree to the N30,000 proposal.
He noted that the first request of the labour movement was N66,500, but N30,000 was agreed upon after considering the positions of the different stakeholders in the tripartite committee.
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Pointing to the upward trend in the cost of living from 2007 when N18,000 was approved in 2010, Olojede stressed that its N30,000 minimum wage request was just fair enough considering prevailing economic circumstances.
He pointed out that the Oyo State government, in its own memorandum on the minimum wage, had expressed a desire to abide by whatever figure was agreed upon by the tripartite committee.
Corroborating Olojede, Ogundiran warned that should the federal government fail to approve of N30,000, the nation’s economy will be grounded from November 6, when an indefinite strike is scheduled to commence.
He lampooned Ngige for misleading the federal executive council that no agreement had been reached with the labour centres as tantamount to speaking from two sides of the mouth.
Responding to the workers’ agitation presented in front of the governor’s office, Chief of Staff to Oyo governor, Dr Gbade Ojo decried that the federal government had to determine the minimum wage for state governments.
He called for a review of the review allocation formula, whereby states were each at liberty to determine their own minimum wage.
In his own response when the workers visited the state House of Assembly, Speaker, Honourable Olagunju Ojo said the state government was poised to graciously consider the N30,000 minimum wage proposal.
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