Sunday, October 17, 2021

Minimum Wage: Group berates NLC for tagging Rep. Babawo enemy of Nigerian workers

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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A pro-democracy group, Sustainable Democracy Agenda, SUDA, has berated the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, for accusing the House of Representatives member representing Sabon Gari Federal Constituency of Kaduna State, Garba Datti-Babawo, of being an enemy of Nigerian workers.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the NLC during their emergency National Executive Council, NEC, meeting on Tuesday in Abuja, had accused Mr Babawo of being an enemy of Nigerian workers for sponsoring a bill that seeks to remove the National Minimum Wage from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent Legislative List.

The workers union also accused the lawmaker of being hireling in the plot by his sponsors to disorient, injure, and exterminate Nigeria’s working class.

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Rising in Mr Babawo’s defence, the group, in a statement signed on Thursday by its President, Ghali Abubakar, berated the workers union by resorting to cheap blackmail on the lawmaker.

The group noted that posting the lawmaker’s picture with unprintable inscriptions was uncharitable of the Nigerian’s respected labour union.

According to the SUDA President, Mr Babawo is never an anti-workers lawmaker and will never be.

He said: “Hon. Garba Datti was a civil servant and has immense respect for workers. Firstly, as we all know, politicians are always misquoted.

“We would not be surprised if some of these comments were coming from his political opponents but the comments to come from the NLC, we must be worried that our principal’s long-standing integrity and respect is at stake.

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“We, therefore, declare the NLC’s comments against Hon. Datti as libellous and lamentable. The NLC should, instead, be worried about its smokescreen national agitations that they only engage in for their pecuniary benefits,” Mr Abubbakar stressed.

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He added: “I think the NLC should educate itself on the fact that the Bill was derived from the report of the APC Committee on True Federalism.

“The report recommends that each State should freely legislate on its minimum wage according to the resources available to it but should avoid huge disparity between salaries and emoluments.

“That all labour relational issues should be federalized and each state is free to determine its own labour laws.

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“We are, therefore, of the view that when the Bill is finally passed by the National Assembly and assented to law, Nigerian workers will begin to enjoy and reap the fruit of their labour.

“Nigerian workers are tired of the current lopsided implementation of the National Minimum Wage. Let each state cut its coat according to its size, period.

“To this end, we demand that the NLC should as a matter of urgency apologise to Datti and pull down all their posts pictures against the lawmaker.”

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