Minimum wage will determine workers’ voting pattern in 2019 elections- NLC

NLC Protesters on a rally along Gashua road, Damaturu on Tuesday.

The National Minimum Wage will determine the voting pattern by Nigerian workers in the 2019 general elections, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said.

Its General Secretary, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ozo-Eson said that this was due to the delay by President Muhammadu Buhari to transmit an Executive Bill on the agreed N30, 000 National Minimum Wage to the National Assembly to kick-start its implementation.

“I want to say that if this is not addressed now, the minimum wage issue will become the major determinant of the 2019 General Elections.

“I think the government must ensure that it quickly takes this matter up on the table so that it does not get mixed up with the forthcoming general elections in the country,’’ he said.

Ozo-Eson said that it was already more than a month since the Ama Pepple-led Tripartite Committee submitted its recommendation of N30, 000 report to the president.

“We are already more than three weeks gone, since the submission of that recommendation of the tripartite committee to Mr President.

“Mr President had promised at the occasion that he will act quickly on it.

“We are disturbed that up till now he has not sent the bill to the National Assembly.

“Therefore, our advice to workers is that those in government who have shown no interest in the welfare of workers, or have unleashed terror on workers, should be voted out.

“We urge our members to use their voting powers to vote such people out,” he said.

The NLC scribe recalled that the minimum wage had been due for review for more than two years.

He said though, the union understood the current economic challenges of the country, government could have still done better if they have the interest of workers at heart.

Ozo-Eson said that though, the political parties have started their campaign, the National Assembly had assured workers that legislators would attend to bills of national importance.

He also said that the National Assembly members had specifically promised that they would give accelerated hearing if the bill on the minimum wage reached them. (NAN)

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