Dan Nwanyanwu former Chairman of Zenith Labour Party
By EricJames Ochigbo
Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) on Wednesday expressed support for Organised Labour in its demand for N30,000 minimum wage.
The National Chairman of the party, Mr Dan Nwanyanwu, made the party’s known at a news conference in Abuja.
Nwanyanwu noted that Nigerian workers were the most patriotic group in the country as they paid their taxes and worked tirelessly to get the economy moving.
“We are talking of the wages of those who create the wealth that government spends; the workers are the creators of wealth.
“ZLP is in support of the Nigerian Labour Congress in its demand for N30,000 minimum wage.
“We are in support of the unions’ demands and ZLP will mobilise some other opposition parties to join the struggle of the NLC and TUC.
“Government can pay N30,000; we have the resources; what is required is better resource management.”
According to the chairman, workers spend a minimum of N17,000 a month on transportation, adding that N22,500 proposed by governors is unacceptable.
Nwanyanwu urged the labour unions not to relent in their struggle, saying that the argument that government could not afford the proposed minimum wage was untrue.
He advised the government to cut some unnecessary expenditure, do away with over bloated contracts and the money paid to a retinue personal aides.
The chairman further suggested that government should use technology to determine the exact number of workers in service in order to eradicate ghost workers.
He insisted that since governors received “security vote” which amount remained unknown, workers deserved to be paid seeming “living” wage.
He, therefore, urged workers to be resolute and press home their demands democratically and in line with best standards of labour management.
Commenting on the clash between the Shiite group and security agencies in Abuja, Nwanyanwu said that the group should be allowed to demonstrate peacefully and condemned the killing of some of the protesters.
The chairman further suggested negotiations as a preferable solution to the crisis as the leaders of the group were known to the government.
Nwanyanwu called for proper handling of the matter in line with the principles of democracy and the rule of law, to avoid pushing the group into violence.
He, however, urged the Shiite group to remain calm and maintain the peace while urging the government to release the Shiite leader, Ibrahim el Zakzaky in line with courts’ decisions.