By Akanimo Sampson
The organised labour has risen from their National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Kano, Northern Nigeria with a strong warning to the Buhari administration that workers will no longer sit down and watch the lives of innocent citizens being snuffed away as a result of the worsening insecurity in the country.
While the NEC however noted that there has been a spiralling wave of insecurity in Nigeria largely fueled by kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery/banditry, communal clashes and Boko Haram attacks, the news came that four people were feared killed and 12 women still missing in the aftermath of a Jihadist attack on a town in the bleeding Borno State.
The menacing Boko Haram allegedly hit Gajiram, the headquarters of Ngazai Local Government Area of the state at the weekend, with heavy artillery. A news agency report quoting security sources said it was the third attack on the town by the Islamic insurgents this year
The source which also said the insurgents burnt some of the vehicles at the local government secretariat, killing four people when they fired sporadically, added ‘’the attack occurred at about 8.20pm. The insurgents came in 4-wheel vehicles, looted houses and shops, carted away foodstuffs and livestock.’’
In a communiqué jointly signed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Ayuba Wabba, and the Congress’ outgoing General Secretary, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, labour expressed alarm at the recent confessions of an arrested bandit who disclosed that helicopters dropped weapons for criminals thus suggesting possible collusion between criminal elements and big-time financiers of criminality.
According to them, ‘’having considered the deleterious impact of insecurity on the lives of citizens and socio-economic conditions in Nigeria, NEC resolved that the NLC would convene a National Security Summit to dispassionately engage the current challenge of insecurity in Nigeria and proffer sustainable solutions.
‘’Prior to the proposed National Security Summit, NEC resolved that the NLC would hold rallies across Nigeria to sensitise government and citizens to the need to urgently arrest the current drift in security.’’
The NLC is also calling for immediate implementation of the new minimum wage, saying that the Federal Government could no longer hide under negotiations with labour to deny workers the opportunity to enjoy the new salary structure.
On the implementation of the new national minimum wage, both the government and labour had been negotiating consequential increase in workers’ salaries as a result of the increase in minimum wage from N18,000 to N30,000 in May 2019 with no agreement reached.
While expressing dismay over the continued delay by the government and other tiers of government to implement the new national minimum wage, the communiqué said, ‘’NEC emphatically posited that the government can no longer hide under protracted negotiations with workers in the public sector for consequential salary adjustment based on the new national minimum wage to delay the implementation of the new national minimum wage.
‘’After very vigorous deliberations on the need to immediately implement the national minimum wage, NEC insisted that the payment of the new national minimum wage should commence immediately, effective from the day the New National Minimum Wage Bill was signed into law by Mr President.’’
Meanwhile, last Friday’s meeting between the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council and representatives of the government ended in a deadlock. Plans are on to reconvene it for negotiations this coming September 4.