Half Way Through the NLC/TUCs 30 day suspension of its strike the Federal Government appears to have reneged on its promise to pay all Federal workers N35,000. The trade unions shoud seek clarification on this issue. Then the NLC/TUC should consider strike action if the Memorandum of Understanding is not to be implemented as agreed.
Days after the news leaked that each member of the National Assembly is to be given an additional vehicle valued at N160 million, it appears that the Government is back tracking on its promised pay award. A letter from the Chair of the National Wages and Salaries Commission dated 19th October, says that:
“Accordingly, the implementation of the N35,000,00 per month wage award for all Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies that are treasury-funded will be funded from the treasury, Non-treasury funded Federal Government agencies are to implement same from their internally generated revenue (IGR) or statutory allocations.”
So only core ministries will have the award funded. Any organisation that is funded from a ministry other than the Accountant General will not be funded and the workers will have to fight their management to receive the award.
In contrast, the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Federal Government and the NLC/TUC clearly stated that:
“The Federal Government grants a wage award of N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) only to all Federal Government workers beginning from the month of September pending when a new national minimum wage is expected to have been signed into law.”
Clearly this is a dishonest Government that cannot be trusted. Any strike action should not be suspended until all workers receive their bank alert to confirm that the full pay award has been paid into their bank account.
It is not that the Government does not have the money to pay this award. FAAC distributed a record breaking N1.1 trillion from its meeting at the end of September. This is 68% more than was distributed from the May 2023 meeting!!
Every time the naira is devalued the amount the governments receive in oil money increases each month. The price of crude oil is now increasing and is now approaching $100 a barrel again. In addition, the volume of oil exports in October was 1.7 million barrels a day the highest figure this year. All this means that the Government has more money than expected and can easily afford at least N35,000 a month for all Federal workers and all governors have plenty of money to pay their state workers.
Tinubu failed to get his nomination of el Rufai as a minister accepted by the Senate, he reversed his appointment of a 24 year old as Chair of FERMA, he increased his offer to the NLC/TUC from N25k to N35k. If the NLC/TUC provide resolute leadership he can be defeated and we can win all our demands:
• A decent minimum wage for all with annual increments!
• Reversal of all hikes in university tuition fees!
• Reversal of recent fuel price increases back to the last regulated price!
• Payment of arrears of salary and pensions in relevant states!
• End, of “no work – no pay”; pay the ASUU strikers & others from last year!
• Tinubu must resign for corruption!
Biodun Olamosu, National Secretary, Socialist Labour https://socialistlabour.com.ng