Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has faulted the palliatives to states, insisting that what Nigerian workers needed was a living wage. It observed that the handouts serving to cushion effects of the fuel subsidy removal could in a way...
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has faulted the palliatives to states, insisting that what Nigerian workers needed was a living wage. It observed that the handouts serving to cushion effects of the fuel subsidy removal could in a way, be applauded, but quickly added that their distribution might not be even, albeit being a temporary measure.
The association’s Deputy President, Adewala Adeyanju, said: “What a responsive government should have done could have been to increase workers’ salaries across board.”
Adeyanju, who doubles as President-General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, at an occasion to mark the maiden Dock workers’ Celebration Day put together by Shipping Correspondents Association of Nigeria SCAN at the weekend in Lagos, added: “Let us assume that the Federal Government decides to pay workers a minimum wage of N150,000 monthly, that may not be enough, considering the inflationary trends.
“What I think the government should do now, is to pay workers a living wage, which shall be adjustable to e economic realities. Palliatives are good to cushion the effect of subsidy removal, but that is not what we need now. Who is even sure that it will be evenly distributed to those who need it. What a responsive government should do now is to increase salaries of workers across the board so that they can cater for their loved ones at this critical time.”
In his presentation, he reviewed government’s port reforms and pointed out some successes and failures thus far. According to him, the lease agreement between government and the 25 terminal operators covering 10 to 25 years has not been renewed due to inter-agency rivalry, thus leaving dockworkers wedged in between.
He said that dockworkers have strategically assisted in the actualisation of port reforms, recording theft reduction from 55 to 15 per cent over time in addition to facility effectiveness and responsiveness increasing from 25 to 85 per cent, degree of cargo handling climbing from 25 to 75 per cent, as well as cargo dwelling time reducing from three weeks to about seven days and accident reduction leading to increased remuneration.