Minimum Wage: Ekiti State Governor, Fayemi backs protest, calls for reform

New governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has described the agitations of the Labour congress  as legitimate and worthy of being given considerations by governments.

He said this while reacting to news that Ekiti workers joined their colleagues across the 36 States of the federation in holding a sensitization protest to press for the new National Minimum Wage of N30,000.

The protest, which kicked off at the Mobil Filling Station in Ajilosun area of Ado Ekiti is to be terminated at the Governor’s office , where they are scheduled to meet Governor Kayode Fayemi on the grievances with the governments.

The protest, coordinated by the National Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC), Com. Solomon Adelegan, also had in attendance the Chairman of NLC in Ekiti, Com. Ade Adesanmi, his colleague in the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Com Odunayo Adesoye and the Secretary of Joint Negotiating Council, Com. Blessing Oladele.

Adesanmi, Adesoye and Oladele and other labour leaders insisted that it was smacked of insensitivity for the FG to have turned down the N30,000 proposal when it can pay the jumbo pays being taken by politicians.

The workers who ended the rally at the governor’s office in Ado Ekiti got a boost in spite of unfavourable dispositions from the governors, as Fayemi said his government would do everything to support the demand since it was a product of law and constitution of the land.

Before getting to the governor’s office, the workers had earlier addressed the public at the popular Erekesan market and urged them not to be misinformed by media hype from some quarters on the planned strike of the all labour unions in the country.

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 a 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, but 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, Solomon Adelegan and State Chairman of TUC, Com Odunayo Adesoye, said the National Minimum Wage
ought to have been reviewed since 2015 based on the proposition that it should be reviewed every five years, in accordance with the law.

They said: “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. “In a country where government can’t pay just N30,000 minimum wage, its Senators remain the highest paid in the world, this is insensitive.

“So, if the government refuses to sign into law before November 11, 2018, we will not hesitate to grind every sector of this country”, he said.

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