The President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, on Thursday in Abuja demanded a review of the N18, 000 minimum wage by the Federal Government.
Mr. Wabba said the union was in support of the government’s anti-corruption crusade, being part of the initiatives to repositioning Nigeria’s economy.
The NLC president said this at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union.
According to him, the current minimum wage is unrealistic with the present economic reality.
He said that when the NLC agreed on the N18,000 minimum age with the Federal Government, the exchange rate was N140 to a dollar “but as at today, it is N220 to a dollar’’.
Mr. Wabba said Nigerian workers should be treated fairly by reviewing their salary upward in line with the present economic reality, adding that the minimum wage was no longer enough to sustain workers.
He condemned the spate of corruption in the country, where privileged few cornered the resources belonging to all Nigerians, adding that the NLC would support the President Mohammed Buhari on his move to prosecute culprits.
“The issue of corruption in Nigeria is mindboggling and unacceptable to us as this has caused many of us to be living in penury.
“Those responsible for corruption and stealing of our collective patrimony should be prosecuted and face the law if found wanting, this is the only way to make Nigeria work,” he said.
He said that a lot of resources that should accrue to the state were being stolen by individuals and some privileged few.
The NLC president called on the Federal Government to encourage workers to expose corruption in their domain, adding that if workers were encouraged as whistle blowers it would help the country.
He said the president should ensure that such workers were protected while acting as whistle blower, adding that no one should be victimised for such act.
Mr. Wabba said the various probes by the anti-corruption agencies must not end up like others such as power sector, fuel subsidy scam which ended without result.
He called for speedy trial of suspects by the judiciary, adding that judges must not be allowed to henceforth grant injunctions against suspect.
“The anti-corruption agencies must not relent in prosecuting corruption; that money must be recovered and put back into the country,’’ he said.
He called for the diversification of the economy, adding that a situation where the government depend largely on oil revenue to run the country was inimical to its growth.
He, however, warned the Federal Government against disengaging workers in the cause of the merging of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government, saying the “NLC would resist such move’’.
He said merging ministries with the sole aim of disengaging workers would be met with stiff resistance by labour unions.