Workers in Ekiti State yesterday joined their colleagues across the country to stage a sensitisation rally to press for the N30, 000 new National Minimum Wage.
They were led in the protest by the national vice president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Solomon Adelegan, state chairman, Comrade Ade Adesanmi, his colleague in the Trade Union Congress(TUC), Comrade Odunayo Adesoye and the secretary of Joint Negotiating Council, Comrade Blessing Oladele.
The workers had massed at the Mobil Filling Station in Ajilosun area of Ado Ekiti and moved to the Governor’s Office, where they were scheduled to meet Governor Kayode Fayemi on the grievances with the governments.
The labour leaders who took turn to address the workers said it was height of insensitivity for the federal government to have turned down the N30,000 proposal, when it can afford the jumbo pays being taken by politicians.
Governor Kayode Fayemi who addressed the workers after terminating the protest at his office in Ado Ekiti, the state capital described their agitations as legitimate and worthy of being given considerations by governments.
He assured that his government would do everything to support the demand since it was a product of law and constitution of the land.
The workers had earlier addressed the public at the popular Erekesan market and urged them not to be misinformed about the planned strike of the labour unions in the country.
Governor Fayemi , who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Biodun Omoleye and the Head of Service, Dr. Gbenga Faseluka, said: “My government as you all know is labour friendly. The agitations for new National Minimum is legitimate and let me tell you, my government will never allow workers to go hungry again by working without getting their pay.
“The present wages you are taking can no longer take you half home, as responsible government, we must listen to your voices. We will take your demands to the Governors’ Forum and we will put up a voice for you there.
“Here in Ekiti, we will not only pay your salaries and pensions as and when due, we will also engage in capacity building to motivate workers.
“We sympathise with you on the backlog of salary arrears. As we are settling down, our government will look into it , because never again shall Ekiti workers go hungry due to non-payment of salaries, bye, bye to such era”, Fayemi stated.
The NLC national vice president , Adelegan and state chairman of TUC, Comrade Adesoye , said the National Minimum Wage ought to have been reviewed since 2015 based on the proposition that the law should be reviewed every five years, in accordance to the law.
According to them, “Go and check the records, Nigerian workers are the least paid in Africa and globally. South Africa, Ghana and other smaller countries are paying better wages.”
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