Politics

My assessment of Tinubu’s one year in office –Ajaero, NLC President

the economy, an economy that’s already destroyed; the economy of the worker is totally destroyed. In fact, the worker doesn’t have any economy. So, I think there are two economies in the country. The economy of them (politicians) and the workers, so we have to harmonise this and have a meeting point.

 

What is your zone of possible agreement?

 

You have asked this question in various forms and I have said, it’s not a matter of saying, take 500 or this amount, we can’t continue to brandish figures. It’s not something that is just pronounced that way; wage is not supposed to be arrived at for the fun of playing with figures. There are factors to be taken into consideration for you to arrive at a figure and when you do that, it makes sense and makes it sustainable. The fact that you called it 700 or 800 does not make it sustainable; there have to be other contributions in the economy that would make it sustainable and valuable to the worker that will make it lasting.

 

Your ultimatum to the Federal Government will elapse in days; do you see the Federal Government being able to meet up in all of these demands before you hit the street?

 

Well, the old minimum wage expired on April 18. And for five years, ordinarily, the Federal Government was supposed to start the process of reviewing wages six months before this time. It didn’t happen, and we have had experience in the past where after negotiations, I’m talking of arrears, the issue of commencement date of new wage continues to be distorted. When people are given ultimatum that this thing must be concluded within this period, it was based on the fact that as at today in Nigeria, there’s no minimum wage by law.

 

And then we should have concluded this for a new minimum wage to come into force and you realize that after this agreement and the drafting of the new minimum wage Act, it has to go to National Assembly for legislation. These are the roots. If not how we begun to pursue these people, they may not even tell you that we need to review the minimum wage till the end of this year.

 

We meant every word we used. Because we knew that Nigeria had no business staying till the end of the old minimum wage which lasted for five years without showing any seriousness and commitment as we speak. And Nigerian workers will speak at the appropriate time on this issue, whether this is the best way to go.

 

Tinubu one year in office, we were told not to blame the president for Nigerians woes, do you agree?

 

Well, I think the problem of this country, you can’t fix it within one year. It has been declining. Nobody will give an honest assessment by saying that it is this government, that will be wrong. But the essence of having another government in place is to correct the ills of the past.

 

But we can’t dwell in the past, they are the people sitting down there and they are people we know, but let me say this, the rate at which inflation, the rate at which the naira, the PMS skyrocketed within this one year, is grossly alarming. So we need to stabilise this and to move on and to renew confidence. We were buying a litter of PMS within N180, and within one year, we’re buying it at N700, and at the same wage; no worker would clap for you.

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