Following the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government, which has led to recent hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as fuel, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has demanded an increase in minimum wage from N30,000 to N200,000 before the end of June 2023.
The TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifo, in a statement issued on Monday, said that the upward review of minimum wage must come with consequential adjustment on Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), such as feeding, transport, housing, etc.
According to Osifo, other demands put forward to government for immediate implementation at the subsidy removal meeting with the federal government for immediate implementation includes, “Status quo ante of PMS pump price should be maintained while discussion continues.
“A representative of state governors will be party to this communique, and all the governors must commit to implement the new minimum wage.
“Tax holiday for employees both in government and private sector that earn less than N200,000 or 500USD monthly whichever is higher.
“PMS Allowance to be introduced for those earning between N200,000 to N500,000 or 500USD to 1,200USD whichever is higher.
“The Exchange rate for retailing PMS in the country must be kept within a limit of +- two per cent for the next ten (10) years where the fluctuation is more that two per cent, the minimum wage will automatically increase at the same rate.
“Setting up of intervention fund where government will be paying N10 per litre on all locally consumed PMS. The primary purpose of this fund is to solve perennial and protracted national issues in education, health, and housing. A governance structure that will include labour, civil society, and government will be put in place to manage the implementation.
“Federal government should provide mass transit vehicles for all categories of the populace.
“State governments should immediately set up a subsidised transportation system to reduce the pressure on workers and students. The framework around this will be worked out.
“Immediate review of the National Health Insurance Scheme to cover more Nigerians and prevent out of stock of drugs.
“Visitation of the refineries that are currently undergoing rehabilitation to ascertain state of work and Setting up timeline for its completion.
“The president should direct whoever will be labour minister to immediately constitute the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC). This platform will be used by the government, Labour and employer to discuss issues and policies of government that may affect workers and all other mandates as specified in the law.
“Provision of subsidy directly for food items, the 800 million dollars could be a first step.
“The existing National Housing Fund (NHF) should be made accessible to genuine workers; the framework on this must be discussed and agreed.” The statement reads
Furthermore, the Congress also listed some of the demands that are to be met at a medium term to include; ” the deployment of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) across the country in line with the earlier promise made by government. The framework and timeline will be developed and agreed upon by both parties.
“Labour and government to design a framework that will be geared towards the reduction of cost of governance by 15 per cent in 2024 and 30 per cent by 2025.
“A framework should be immediately put in place to maintain the road and expand the rail networks across the country.
“Government must design a framework for social housing policy for workers through Rent to Own System.
“The state of electricity in the country must be appraised, and an action plan should be defined with time lines on how to get this fixed. A strong monitoring team comprising of all parties will be constituted.”
Recall that at Sunday’s meeting where the federal government met with the leadership of the TUC, Dele Alake, who spoke on behalf of the government delegation, had said that the Congress demands were not impracticable.