Labour rejects FG proposed civil servants salary slash

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Nigeria Labour Congress has rejected the move by the Federal Government to cut civil servants salary to reduce the cost of governance.
RainSMediaRadio had reported the Finance Minister, Mrs Zainab Ahmed announced the federal government move to cut civil servants salary and trimming Ministers, Department and Agencies (MDA’s) on Tuesday at a ” national policy dialogue on corruption and cost of governance in Nigeria” organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja.

She added that National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) has been directed to review salaries of civil servants and federal agencies across the country.
However, Labour kicked against the Federal Government action registered their opposition yesterday through the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in reaction to the salaries slash.
According to Labour President, Ayuba Wabba, it was almost unthinkable that the government would be contemplating unilaterally slash the salaries of Nigerian workers at this time. – The Nation reports

Labour argued that multiple devaluations of the Nigerian Naira in a very short time and the prevailing high inflation rate in the country already have a bad effect on salaries earned by Nigerian workers across the board.
He said: “The question to ask is which salary is the government planning to slash? It certainly cannot be the meagre national minimum wage of N30, 000 which right now, cannot even buy a bag of rice.

“The proposed slash in salaries is certainly not targeted at the minimum wage and consequential adjustment in salaries that some callous state governors are still dragging their feet to pay!

“It is public knowledge that the multiple devaluations of the Naira in a very short time and the prevailing high inflation rate in Nigeria has knocked out the salaries earned by Nigerian workers across the board.

“Nigerian workers are only surviving by hair’s breadth. Indeed, Nigerian workers are miracles strutting on two legs. It is, therefore, extremely horrendous for a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to pronounce salary slash for Nigerian workers at this time.”

According to the NLC, the call for salary slash by the minister is tantamount to a “mass suicide” wish for Nigerian workers”.

Wabba added: “It is most uncharitable, most insensitive, most dehumanising and most barbaric. Nigerian workers demand an immediate retraction and apology by the minister of Finance.

“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the minister of Finance to order now before she sets Nigeria on fire with her careless statements. If there is any salary that needs serious slashing it is the humungous remuneration and allowances pocketed by political office holders in Nigeria who do very little but collect so much!

“Workers generate surplus value and revenue for the government. We do not constitute any unnecessary cost or burden to governance! It is also important to make the point that salaries are products of contracts governed by laws. They cannot be unilaterally adjusted.

“While many countries of the world are increasing the salaries of their workforce, extending social security coverage for their citizens and providing all forms of palliatives to help their people through the terrible socio-economic dislocations occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be completely absurd for the Nigerian government to be thinking of salary slash.

“This move is not only at great odds with global best responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is also in violation of relevant ILO Conventions and Declarations on Wages and Decent Work.

“We urge Government as a social partner to quickly respond to the demands by Labour for an upward review of salaries of all Nigerian workers. Nigerian workers have shown sufficient understanding with the government through the tough patches of the pandemic.

“Now, Nigerian workers demand reciprocity of our understanding. Nigerian workers demand an increase in their remunerations and allowances.”

Source: The Nation

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