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NLC salary demands: Nigerian Patriots beg labour unions, warn against plunging country into fresh recession

 

From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja


A pressure group, under the auspices of Concerned Nigeria Patriots (CNP), has pleaded with the coalition of Labour Unions to shelve their demands for an unrealistic minimum wage, warning that it poses significant risk of plunging Nigeria into another recession.


The Patriots also claimed that it is capable of exacerbating the economic challenges that President Bola Tinubu-led administration has been diligently working to overcome.


The group, however, urged Nigerians to reject the “unrealistic wage demands” and support the efforts and determination of government and private sector employers to realistic and sustainable wages.


The Patriots, who made the appeal in Abuja, stressed that when a government is sabotaged, it is the masses who suffer the consequences, noting that while government and organised private sector had offered N62,000 as minimum wage, the Labour Unions have insisted on N250,000.


Speaking at a press conference against the demands, the group led by its Chairman, Alfa Mohammed, tagged the coalition as agents working for the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 election, Peter Obi.


“The recent demands for an unrealistic minimum wage by the coalition of the NLC, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Labour Party (LP) pose a significant risk of plunging Nigeria into another recession, exacerbating the economic challenges that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration has been diligently working to overcome.”


“Their insistence on a minimum wage initially set at ₦605,000, then ₦494,000, and now ₦250,000, is part of a broader strategy to force the government into adopting an economically unfeasible policy,” the patriot group said.


They further accused the Labour Unions and opposition LP of forming a coalition to provoke public unrest and destabilise the government of President Bola Tinubu.


“This coalition’s agenda appears to be a deliberate attempt to provoke public unrest and destabilize the government. By advocating for a wage increase that is not financially viable, they risk inciting chaos and anarchy, which could undermine our hard-earned democracy.


“Their plan includes a total shutdown of essential infrastructure under the guise of fighting for a living wage, potentially crippling the nation’s economy and disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable citizens.


“It is important to note that this coalition, which supported Mr. Peter Obi in the last presidential election, is now inherently a threat to democracy or economic recovery. However, their apparent desperation to disrupt the current administration following their candidate’s loss to President Tinubu is concerning.


“This group, often referred to as the Obidients, has repeatedly mobilised protests, attempting to make the country ungovernable at every opportunity.”


While calling on all Nigerians, especially diligent workforce, to see through the veil of mischief, the group said such a wage hike would likely lead to severe inflation, increased unemployment, decreased productivity, and greater economic hardship.


“When a government is sabotaged, it is the masses who suffer the consequences. It is the responsibility of every citizen to support and pray for the success of our government, not to undermine it.


“We call on fellow Nigerians to reject Unrealistic Wage Demands and support what the government and private sector employers determine to be realistic and sustainable wages. Oppose Disruptive Strikes and insist on dialogue, and reject strike actions aimed at destabilizing the government.


“To President Tinubu and the ruling class, we recommend immediate introduction of policies to reduce inflation, particularly in food, transportation, medical, agriculture, and energy sectors.


“Provision of credit schemes for PMS-CNG conversion and CNG vehicle hire purchase. Funding for mechanized farming projects across all states, with a commodity board to manage excess produce.


“Intensification of technology use to address security challenges. Adoption of an austere recurrent expenditure budget reflecting the current economic situation. Exclusive use of locally assembled or manufactured vehicles for government officials,” the group noted.

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