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We’ll resist manipulation of new minimum wage in Kwara – TUC

We’ll resist manipulation of new minimum wage in Kwara – TUC

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Success Nwogu, Ilorin

The Kwara State Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress on Tuesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged behaviour of  some state governors who collected ‘bailout funds’ but still owed workers several months’ salaries and arrears of pension.

It also called on the affected governors to pay their workers’ outstanding salaries to mitigate the sufferings of the workers.

The position of the Kwara NLC SEC was read by the state NLC Chairman, Mr. Yekeen Agunbiade, during the May Day celebration in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.

He called on the state government to address the demands of the workers.

He said, “May I express my persistent concern and disappointment over the continuing inability of some state governments to promptly pay the monthly salary of their workers despite the bailout funds, summing up to trillions of naira that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government extended to them in order to avert this national embarrassment.

“The present economic situation calls for serious concern by all of us. The very high prices of essential commodities nowadays are having bitter effects on the masses of this nation.

“We therefore call on the FG, most especially, Mr. President, to please take proactive steps to address the hardship being experienced by the masses.”

The state Chairman, TUC, Mr. Kolawole Olumoh, said despite the claim by the Federal Government that Nigeria’s economy had exited recession, indices on the ground pointed to the contrary.

According to him, nothing appears to be moving in the right direction in the country because all sectors of the economy are bleeding profusely.

Olumoh said, “As things stand today, many Nigerian workers cannot eat three square meals let alone being in a position to afford ordinary things that make life comfortable and worth of living.

“The current minimum wage of N18,000 came into force in March, 2011; meaning that it is long overdue for renegotiation and the process is ongoing.

“We want to inform the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, that Kwara workers have suffered enough and this time round, we will not accept a lopsided implementation of new minimum wage that the FG and the panel will approve for the Nigerian workers.

“Any attempt by the state government to deny, doctor, or manipulate the minimum wage, would be collectively resisted by the Kwara State workers and its leadership.”

Ahmed, who was represented by the state Head of Service, Mrs. Susan Oluwole, said for decades now, the federal allocations to the state had been on the bottom line of the sharing formula.

He said Kwara State was among the states receiving the smallest allocation, adding that it was limiting infrastructure development in the state.

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