PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has been warned by the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) that if he does not sign the new Minimum Wage Bill into law by Workers Day he should be prepared for a nationwide strike on May 1.
Over recent months, the government and Nigeria’s trade unions have been negotiating a minimum wage and the two sides eventually agreed to increase the amount to N30,000 ($83) from the current N18,000 a month. After months of intense negotiations, the National Assembly passed a bill introducing the new wage and it is now waiting for President Buhari’s assent to become law.
However, President Buhari has delayed signing the bill into law, prompting suggestions that he might be having second thoughts on the matter. Already, organised labour has said it will not tolerate any delay and the Oyo State chapter of ASCSN has warned that if the bill is not signed into law by May Day, industrial action is imminent.
Comrade Babatunde Balogun, the chairman of the Oyo State chapter of ASCSN, said: “We won’t be able to assure the president industrial peace and harmony in the country if the passed minimum wage bill is not assented to by before May Day celebrations on May 1 2019. One would have expected the government to repay the resilience and unbearable economic situation of workers with speedy assent of the passed bill into law.
“The workers economic conditions have moved from bad to worse under this government and all we can get now is this unwarranted and avoidable delay in assenting to the passed new minimum wage regime that we’ve been battling for 18 months now. This is high act of wickedness and is unacceptable to us.”
He lamented the fact that the Nigerian workers have gone through harsh economic and financial situations since the inception of the Buhari led All Progressives Congress government. President Buhari is due to be sworn in for a second term on May 29 after just wining elections for a second term in office.