Labour Insists on ₦250,000 Minimum Wage, Reveals Plan To Fast-track Implementation - Infopalavanews


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Wednesday 10 July 2024

Labour Insists on ₦250,000 Minimum Wage, Reveals Plan To Fast-track Implementation

Organized Labour has said it is committed to securing a new minimum wage of ₦250,000, amid reports of meeting with President Bola Tinubu on Thursday.

The remark was made by the President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, on Wednesday while speaking at the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) Women Commission’s annual convention in Abuja

Osifo assured Nigerians that labour is working tirelessly to fast-track the implementation of the new wage.

According to Osifo, the discussions between labour and the government are progressing. He expressed optimism that President Bola Tinubu will soon submit a bill to the National Assembly for a new national minimum wage.

He said, “The minimum wage negotiations cannot be dead. The 2019 minimum wage (that has expired) took about two years to see the light of day. We started the negotiations in 2017.”

“We promised you when we started in January (this year) that we would ensure this one is fast-tracked so we won’t face the same delays we experienced in 2019, which took two years.”

“We submitted our divergent positions in June. Afterward, Mr President stated that he wanted to consult across board, including the governors, local government chairmen, the organised private sector, and labour. We are currently engaging in outreach and conversations.”

“We are working internally to ensure that a minimum wage bill that caters to the poorest of the poor is submitted to the National Assembly in earnest soon. We are still insisting on the ₦250,000 benchmark as the ideal minimum wage.”

Osifo who doubles as the president of PENGASSAN also urged the Federal Government to address logistical challenges causing fuel shortages.

He said, “About a week ago, if you were driving between Aviele and Auchi, you would realise that some people sleep on that road for days. The road is completely cut off. So if you are bringing fuel from Port Harcourt to Abuja, you need to pass through that road, depending on your point of origin.”

“The roads are currently in terrible condition. If you look at other parts of the world, how many countries use tankers to supply Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or Automotive Gas Oil (AGO)? It is not done. Pipelines are the standard, and in some cases, they use rail. In some Western countries, you see railway lines with over 2,000 tanks. Whether it is the rainy or dry season, it works fine.”

“Until we embrace technology and fix our pipelines and oil depots – because that is also key – we will continue to have these challenges. If the depots across Nigeria were all functional, we could have reserve stocks. Then, when our roads are bad, we can utilise those depots closer to the cities for supplies. When the roads are good, you can restock them and go back to business as usual.”

“We must be able to deepen the facilities of the oil and gas logistics. If we don’t, we will perennially have these challenges. Last year, the whole of Lokoja was cut off. So for tankers coming from Lagos, Calabar, Abeokuta, Port Harcourt, where would they pass? It would be difficult. We must sit down and redefine our distribution value chain in the oil and gas sector.

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