N35,000 wage award: TUC urges FG to remove bottlenecks delaying payment

TUC President, Festus Osifo

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), has called on the Federal Government to remove all bottlenecks delaying the payment of the N35,000 wage award for workers in the country.

President of TUC, Mr Festus Osifo, said this while addressing newsmen at the end of the National Executive Council meeting of the Congress on Tuesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Tinubu had on Oct. 1, announced the payment of N35,000 wage award as palliatives to workers for a period of six months to cushion the effect fuel subsidy removal.

The wage award was part of the agreement reached between the Federal Government and the organised labour.

According to Osifo, payment was made just once and since then, civil servants have not received a wage award since October.

“We wish to call on government to fast- track all the processes. We learnt that they are currently putting some things in place to pay and people are not ready to listen to excuses.

“We want them to remove all the bottlenecks that are being experienced today regarding the wage award and to continuously pay.

“We also wish to call on the respective state governments to do same that have agreed to pay the N35,000 wage. I want to say kudos to them,’he said.

He called on the private sector to also do the needful on the wage award.

Usifo said that NEC in session had taken note of the budget that was recently submitted by Tinubu to the National Assembly.

“We are sceptical and worried by these states of our debt because our debt is continuously increasing and this has put a huge burden on us.

“This year’s budget is also at a deficit and the level of borrowing is growing on a daily basis and the amount of money we require to keep servicing this debt is growing daily.

“This is in such a way that the amount of money we require to service the debt is not catching up with our national revenue and this is problematic,”he said.

He therefore called on the Federal government to look into the issue as soon and as possible.

The TUC President also said that people were suffering due to the hardship in the land.

He called on government at all levels to tighten their belts.

“The situation where governments are asking Nigerians to keep tightening their belts while they are living in affluence.

“This for us is a no and this for us is not acceptable,”he said.

On Law Review, Osifo called on the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Simon Lalong to ensure to seek organised labour input before the submission to the Federal Executive Council.

On issues related to pension and unionisation in the hotel sector, he urged the labour minister to consult with labour before submitting the documents to the Federal Executive Council for review.(NAN)