Monday, December 6, 2021

UPDATED: Nigeria workers besiege NASS complex protesting against new minimum wage bill

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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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Hundreds of members of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, have besieged the National Assembly complex, Abuja, protesting against the new National Minimum Wage Bill currently before the legislature.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the House of Representatives has introduced a bill seeking the removal of the National Minimum Wage from the exclusive to the concurrent legislative list.

Angered by the development, the NLC opposed the bill, saying it would undermine the working class in the country.

In the earlier hours of today, the workers union marched on from the Shehu Shagari Way and gained their way into the NASS complex.

The procession caused serious traffic gridlock forcing motorists to seek alternative routes to avoid being caught in the traffic logjam.

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Addressing newsmen shortly after presenting a petition to the Senate, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, who was in the company of leaders of other affiliate unions, said the bill was anti-labour and against the interest of Nigeria workers.

According to Mr Wabba, the national minimum wage was not a Nigerian standard but an international standard, noting that 26 countries of the world have minimum wage as part of their exclusive list including the U.S.

Responding, Deputy Chief Whip of Senate, Sen. Sabi Abdulahi (APC-Niger) said the Senate would stand with Nigerian workers as it had always done.

He said it was not possible for anyone to pass a bill that would affect the interest of Nigerian workers, given the practice of democracy in Nigeria.

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Mr Abdulahi said the senate was representing the interest of Nigerian workers and hence takes the payment of salaries of workers seriously.

He said the NLC had made their point by staging the protest, noting that the senate would stand by the workers to protect their rights and Privileges.

He said the senate would ensure that justice was done to the petition presented by NLC on the issue.

NLC members, who besieged the National Assembly complex had some inscription like “Pay us our minimum wage, autonomy to local government, minimum wage payment would boost the economy among other inscriptions.

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