Workers Day: Kwara workers call for constitution of minimum wage committee

Taiwo Niyi

Workers, under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Kwara state, have called on the state government to quickly constitute the minimum wage committee towards the implementation of a new minimum wage for workers. 

Speaking at the May Day celebration in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Wednesday, the NLC chairman, Comrade Muritala Saheed Olayinka and his TUC counterpart, Comrade Olufemi, said that the committee, when set up, should take cognisance of gender. 

The state NLC chairman appealed to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to set an example as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum by implementing the federal government minimum wage when it is passed into law. 

“It is my pleasure to be part of this year’s May Day celebration, which
coincide with the year of minimum wage implementation. Therefore, I urge the government to quickly constitute the Minimum Wage Committee, as we will continue to do our best to face and address every challenge that comes our way in the course of discharging our legitimate duties in line with the mandate given to us. 

“We once again want to urge the state government to constitute a minimum wage committee that will take cognizance of gender.

“We want to use this forum to appeal to your Excellency to set an example as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum by implementing the federal government minimum wage when it is passed into law.”.

The workers also enjoined the state government to continue to make an intervention movement by
providing palliatives to the citizens of Kwara State. 

Also speaking, the state caretaker chairman of the TUC, Comrade Olufemi, asked the state government to form the state Minimum Wage Committee and inaugurate the committee immediately before the pronouncement on the minimum wage by the president of the country. 

The administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has assured Nigerians, particularly, the Nigerian workers, that His Excellency is committed to the welfare of Nigerians, and that, has been shown in his actions by the constitution of the National Minimum Wage Committee to look into the adjustment of workers’ salaries in the country. 

“Trade Union Congress, Kwara State Council, in line with the National Headquarters, believe
that the committees will look into economic indices and give Nigerian workers an enhanced minimum wage package as presented by the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria at the ongoing minimum wage committee level. 

“Your Excellency, sir, permit me to acknowledge at this point your excellency commitment towards the welfare of Kwara State workers and your assurance and dedications towards the implementation of the New National Minimum Wage for Kwara State Workers as and when due. 

“To fast-track the process, sir, we want to request the composition of the state minimum wage committee and their inauguration immediately before the pronouncement is made by the president of the country, in line with the provision of the existing labour law, the respective circular, and the responsibility of the state Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (Trade Union side), the government officials to fast track the implementation of the new national minimum wage and the consequential adjustment for workers in the state.”. 

Earlier, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, in his May Day speech, promised workers in the state to implement another minimum wage as soon as all processes were concluded. 

“We will continue to review our responses within current realities, including the implementation of another minimum wage, as soon as all processes have been concluded,”  he said. 

“Today, as always, I send my fraternal greetings to all workers in Kwara State, especially all civil servants, on the occasion of May Day. 

“Workers are an integral component of governance. They are the lifewire that drives governmental activities geared towards sustainable development. Today, we recognise the invaluable contributions of workers to the socioeconomic growth and development of our state.

“It has been almost a year since His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared the removal of fuel subsidies in the country. This important policy decision has had varying impacts on how we live and meet basic needs, and we are in it together. 

“Amid other competing demands of public administration, infrastructural development, and keeping the fabric of society together, our administration has responded in various ways to mitigate the teething effects of the reforms.

“We have introduced a monthly transport support, otherwise known as a wage award, staggered working days, and implemented various promotions and other welfare packages that are meant to strengthen the spending powers of the workers. We have similarly rolled out different layers of support to the general public in our holistic approach to lessen the impacts of the reforms. 

“We will continue to review our responses within current realities, including the implementation of another minimum wage, as soon as all processes have been concluded.

“As our country courageously navigates the post-subsidy challenges, we acknowledge the fact that we have a responsibility to provide good and sustainable governance to the people of Kwara, and we are committed to always remaining true to the oath we have sworn to protect the people.

“I thank the organised labour and our workers in Kwara State for their support, understanding, and resilience. I appreciate their bold embrace of the future with hope, even as they diligently contribute positively to the development of our state. We do not take that for granted.”. He said 

End.

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