Workers Cannot Feed Their Families, Wabba Cries Out

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President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Ayuba Wabba on Tuesday lamented that Nigerian workers can no longer afford a decent meal or take care of the need of their families as a result of poor purchasing power.

 

Wabba who spoke while addressing workers on the first day of the nationwide sensitization and mobilization rallies in Abuja said government must take the welfare and well-being of workers seriously and treat it as top priority as they are the ones that create the wealth of the nation.

 

Wabba frown at those referring to workers as tiny minority, saying if there is a group that is a tiny minority, it is the political leaders that are receiving homongous salaries

 

He said: “Workers welfare and wellbeing must be paramount. That is why we say this rally must take place across the length and breadth of the country. Today in every government house in Nigeria, protest is being transmitted to all our political leaders, the governors at the state level and here, we are in the office of the FCT Minister, who is also like the governor

 

“We want to say that workers are very central to economic development. They are very central to the prosperity of any country and therefore we can not be described as the tiny minority.

 

“Workers are very productive. We built the Nigerian economy, we fight for democracy,  rule of law and good governance and there is no way we can be described as tiny minority, as we services the entire country.

 

While insisting that government must approve the N30,000 new national minimum wage, Wabba said that workers are instrumental to the economic development of the country.

 

Wabba went further to argue that workers cannot be regarded as a liability but an asset.

 

“Nigerian workers are an asset and must be celebrated. Anywhere around the world where there is progress, workers are celebrated. Workers must be able to take care of their families, they must be able to feed well, they must be able to pay children’s school fees, but today most workers are unable feed three meals per day because the minimum wage of N18,000 is no longer enough to cater for their basic needs.

 

“Workers create the wealth of any nation. If we create the wealth of Nigeria then we must partake in the sharing of such wealth and therefore the welfare of workers must be paramount. That was why we said that this rally will take place at the length and breadth of the country.

 

“So workers must be able to take care of their family, send their children to school. But today, workers are not able to feed three times a day or send their children to school because minimum wage of N18, 000, is no longer sustainable and no longer realistic and cannot take care of worker’s needs. This is the reality.

 

“Therefore we have agreed on the negotiation table which took us up to one year negotiating. Workers have being patience and more considerate and we look at all issues and we agreed on the N30,000,

 

“Nigeria is the best and largest economy in Africa and south Africa is only second to us. Yet, they are paying N120, 000 as their minimum wage and non of their political elite complained and they were able to deliver. It is the same thing with Ghana and that is why their economy is prospering.

 

“So if we have a pool of the working poor there is no way the economy can do better. We are here to submit our letter of protest and demand like our  states councils are doing in their various state right now,  to the FCTA minister and the onward transmission to Mr President. We want to call on  Mr president for onward transmission”.

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