Organised labour in the country has set March 10, 2021 to carry out a nationwide protest over moves by the National Assembly to decentralise legislation on minimum wage from the exclusive to the concurrent list, which will ultimately pave the way for states to set their minimum wages.
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), disclosed this in a communiqué issued on Tuesday at the end of its emergency National Executive Council meeting held virtually, stating that the protest will be a collaborative effort of the NLC and TUC.
The communiqué signed by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, and Comrade Ismail Bello, NLC’s Acting General Secretary, the Congress nted that a careful consideration of the issues before it especially in light of their implications to the working-class family and the masses of our people in Nigeria, the NEC resolved on the option of going on nationwide protest “to make a strong statement that Nigerian workers would not lie low and watch hard fought rights which are of global standards bastardized by opportunistic and narrow thinking politicians.”
The protest, which will hold in Abuja and will culminate in a march to the National Assembly, is also to hold concurrently in all state capitals across the country where workers will march to the various states’ houses of assembly.
The resolutions of the NEC further read: “The NEC resolved that the national protest action will be concurrently held in all the 36 states of the federation and to the different State Houses of Assembly across Nigeria;
“The NEC decided that should the need arise; it has empowered the National Administrative Council of the NLC to declare and enforce a national strike action especially if the legislators continue on the ruinous path of moving the National Minimum Wage from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List.”
Other issues the NLC deliberated on at its virtual emergency NEC include alleged attempt to also decentralise the judiciary through the establishment of State Judicial Councils, which the NEC condemned and rejected, describing it as “unpatriotic, self-serving and an attempt to throw Nigeria into judicial and social chaos.”
The NLC also condemned the current petrol scarcity, which it attributed hoarding, and called on relevant regulatory agencies of government to rise up to the protection of the interests of the majority of Nigerians from the exploitative hands of market forces bent on maximizing profit at the expense of suffering masses.
The NLC threaten to mobilise workers and the masses should the current artificial scarcity persist to picket petrol stations found to be inflicting pains on Nigerians.