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Leave politics, tackle hardship facing Nigerians, NLC replies Tinubu

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), yesterday carpeted President Bola Ahmed Tinubu over a comment credited to him, saying he should focus on tackling the current…

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), yesterday carpeted President Bola Ahmed Tinubu over a comment credited to him, saying he should focus on tackling the current hardship being faced by Nigerians rather than politicising the real issues.

Tinubu had on Thursday, while commissioning a railway red line, knocked the organised labour over its recent move to protest in a bid to press home its demand over non-implementation of the last October agreements they reached.

The president had said the organised labour was not the only voice for Nigerians, and as such, the Congress lacked the moral ground to challenge his administration’s policies, barely 9 months it came into power.

But in its response, the NLC, through its president, Joe Ajaero, wondered why Tinubu chose to politicise the current hardship facing Nigerians rather than tackle it head-on to make life easy for well-meaning Nigerians.

Ajaero said, “President Tinubu’s insinuation that Labour lacks the moral ground to challenge his administration merely 9 months into office is deeply troubling,” stressing that the organised labour is not after his job.

“Moreover, his focus on partisan issues and the distant 2027 election cycle rather than the urgent needs of the populace further underscores a disconnect from the realities faced by Nigerians on a daily basis.

“It is regrettable that the president seems oblivious of the profound hardship endured by millions of Nigerians. The pervasive hunger, unemployment, housing insecurity and escalating cost of basic necessities, such as food and health care demand immediate attention and decisive action. Yet, instead of addressing these pressing concerns, President Tinubu appears preoccupied with political calculations and future electoral prospects.

“The NLC wishes to emphasize that our primary objective is not to vie for political positions, including that of the president; rather, our sole focus is on advocating effective governance that prioritises the welfare and security of all Nigerians.

“We urge President Tinubu to redirect his efforts towards fulfilling this fundamental duty of public office rather than engaging in political rhetoric.

“It is imperative that we refocus our collective energy on addressing the substantive issues that have been the subject of engagement between Labour and the government since June 2023.

“These include critical matters such as wage increases, social welfare programmes, infrastructure development and the revitalisation of key sectors, such as education and health care.

“In any case, to avoid the dissipation of energy, it is important that we focus on the real issues because we have engaged the government since June 2023 after the ‘subsidy is gone’ statement.

“The issues are around the non-implementation of agreements reached between us and the government.”

Minimum wage: Committee schedules March 7 for public hearing

Meanwhile, the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage has called for the participation of stakeholders in proposing and implementing a new wage for Nigerian workers.

The chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta, in a statement released yesterday, noted that the committee would hold a public hearing on March 7.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the retired Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Aji, is heading the committee, inaugurated by Vice President Kashim Shettima.

The committee’s mandate is to consult all stakeholders on the issue of national minimum wage and consider the wage in the context of the dynamics of the national economy.

It is meant to also recommend a realistic and practical national minimum wage to the government to ensure that all stakeholders are carried along in its assignment.

According to Nta, the committee has scheduled public hearing in the six geo-political zones of the country on March 7. (NAN)

 

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