The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked the Federal government to backdate the implementation of the new national minimum wage to April 18 when it was approved.
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, made the demand on Wednesday in Abuja at a parade to mark the Workers’ Day.
Mr Wabba applauded Nigerian workers for their efforts and commitment towards the struggle for the new minimum wage.
He also urged the government to quickly finalise salary adjustment across the payment to civil and public servants.
Mr Wabba lamented the time wasted in arriving at the minimum wage. He said more time should not be wasted in its implementation.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new minimum wage bill into law on April 18, ushering in a new pay structure for Nigerian workers.
The National Assembly had passed the bill approving N30,000 as the minimum wage for workers.
At the Workers’ Day celebration in Abuja, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the Federal Government is committed to the implementation of the national minimum wage.
Mr Osinbajo said the government will provide an enabling environment for the Nigerian workers and improve their quality of living.
“We are more committed to protecting human rights and changing the health sector,” he said.
His remarks were against the backdrop of the opposition by state governors to the minimum wage. Many of them said they cannot pay their workers N30,000 as minimum wage.
However, some state governors, including the governors of Bauchi, Ondo and Adamawa said they will implement the new minimum wage.
Nigerian workers speak on new minimum wage
A civil servant, Nichodemus Autta, said the workers are waiting to see if the minimum wage will be implemented.
On her part, Esther Richard said she is dissatisfied with the minimum wage. She said the amount is not enough for Nigeria workers.
However, Ms Richard said she is looking forward to the implementation of the new minimum wage.
A pensioner, Ignatius Uzoma, thanked the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for the increase and hopes it will be implemented. He said the government has been paying the pensioners.
Ellen Thompson, a woman with a disability who works in the office of the Head of Service of the Federation, said she is impressed with the new minimum wage.
She said it would be commendable for the implementation to take effect soon
She also called for employment for people with disabilities in both the private and public sectors.
The NLC, in collaboration with Primmus International Super Speciality Hospital, organised free medical tests and treatment for the Nigerian workers at the march past by workers in Abuja.
Abudusalami Saka, a civil servant who was among the beneficiaries of the medical outreach, expressed gratitude to the union.
He said the medical outreach made the celebration remarkable.
On her part, Elizabeth Owolabi said she came for the march past and also benefitted from the medical test.
She said the free test would save her money as she had planned to go for a medical check-up soon.
The medical superintendent, Tony Momoh, said the medical checkup is to celebrate Nigerian workers.
He said it is to encourage them. He said workers with critical medical conditions will be referred to the hospital.