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Minimum Wage: Buhari Begs NLC To Shelve Impending Nationwide Strike

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Hours to the impending strike organized by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to press for the payment of the new National minimum wage, President Muhammadu Buhari has taken the humble pie by sending an appeal to the workers’ union leadership to shelve the planned industrial action.

Mr. President made the appeal Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja when he received members of the Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) being led by Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora.

Buhari who noted that the crisis was inherited by his administration said the workers needed to demonstrate more understanding especially with the infrastructural development his government was putting in place with meagre resources.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, President Buhari reassured Nigerians that his administration would sustain massive investments to upgrade and develop the country’s transport and power infrastructure.

The President told the retired Ambassadors that Nigerians would never forget the ‘‘lost opportunity between 1999 and 2015,’’ when the nation had huge resources at its disposal.

”There is no part of the country I haven’t been to, having attempted to be President four times.

”I know the condition of our roads. The rails were literally killed; there was no power despite the admittance of some previous leadership that they spent $16bn on the sector.

”Today, we are getting our priorities right and we believe that of the three fundamental issues we campaigned on – security, the economy and fighting corruption-, we have remained very relevant and Nigerians believe we have achieved something’’ the President stressed.

The President again appreciated the People’s Republic of China for financing some of the rail and power projects in the country through concessionary loans, promising that .he would do his best to see that where there are possibilities of making a quick improvement on infrastructure, his government would do it.

The President took note of some concerns raised by the retired Ambassadors including an appeal for the adjustment of their pension entitlements, retention of diplomatic passport for retired career ambassadors, allocation of land for ARCAN headquarters in Abuja and adequate funding of the Foreign Affairs ministry, among others.

The Federal Government has agreed to pay N30,000 as the new National minimum wage, but the State Governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum have declined, insisting that they could not more than N22,500 – a paltry difference from the present N18,000 minimum wage.

NLC nationwide strike is scheduled to start by midnight of Tuesday, November 6, 2018.


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