Labour kicks against FG’s ploy to cut salaries

Labour has expressed its opposition to the Federal Government’s plan to cut workers’ salaries as well as reduce the number of federal agencies.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday registered its opposition in a reaction to Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who hinted on the possibility of reducing the workforce.

On Tuesday at a “national policy dialogue on corruption and cost of governance in Nigeria”, the minister had spoken of government’s plan to reduce the high cost of governance by cutting the salaries of civil servants and trimming Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

The talk shop was organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja.

But, in a statement by its President, Ayuba Wabba, the NLC said it was most unthinkable that government would be contemplating to unilaterally slash the salaries of Nigerian workers at this time.

Labour argued that multiple devaluation of the Naira in a very short time and the prevailing high inflation rate in Nigeria had knocked out the salaries earned by Nigerian workers across board.

He said: “The question to ask is which salary is 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!

“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.”

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