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Economic Hardship: NLC nationwide protests about hunger, not Minimum Wage — Ajaero

Nigerians Protesting Against Economic Hardship Cum High Cost of Living

*Joe Ajaero, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, insists the workers two-day protests are not about the Minimum Wage but hunger, accusing the Federal Government of failing to meet the demands of the union since the removal of fuel subsidy, and subsequent rise in the cost of living

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As members of the Organised Labour move ahead to protest over the current socio-economic hardships in the country from Tuesday, February 27, 2024, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says the two-day protests are about hunger and not just a clamour for a review of the Minimum Wage for workers.

Earlier, the Federal Government, however, had cautioned the Labour Union against going ahead with the demonstration, citing certain pronouncements of the National Industrial Court.

Mr. Joe Ajaero, President of NLC, leading a protest

While there was a meeting between the Federal Government and NLC authorities to forestall the protest, the dialogue ended in a deadlock, according to report.

Speaking on the development Tuesday, Mr. Joe Ajero, President of NLC, said contrary to some claims about the Minimum Wage, the Labour is not protesting only about a hike in the country’s Minimum Wage of N30,000.

Ajaero reportedly stated: “You have to understand it. This protest is about hunger. What of those who are not working?

“The minimum wage, when will it be completed? When will it be implemented? What will be the minimum wage that will remove hunger?”

“The UN said that every the poorest man should be fed on $2 per day. That’s the poorest.”

The NLC President also explained: “And if you have a family of six people, $2 per day by six is $12,” he said while addressing the press in Abuja.

“In a month, you have $360 which translates to about N700,000. Is that the minimum wage you’re talking about? Is that what will feed you? That’s feeding alone.

“I’m not talking about transportation and accommodation. So what are we saying? What about medical? What are we saying?”

He noted: “Well, you know, we don’t, we don’t tell them what to do. We will tell them how we feel. There was hunger in the land, but it wasn’t this bad until deregulation.

“And then after the regulation, we proposed all that we needed to. If they had solved the problem of transportation immediately, they would have solved almost 50% of the problem.”

He stated “even when you process garri in the village, you need to transport it to town.

“The expenses you incurred on transportation, you add it to the cost of garri.”

Ajaero accused the Federal Government of failing to meet the demands of the union since the removal of fuel subsidy which he said has led to a rise in the cost of living.

“So the moment they touch PMS, you can’t fill your tank with N30,000, N40,000. So the moment they touched it. We said, ‘OK, bring CNG buses. This is  7-8 months, no one bus is on the street.

“So we have provided all those solutions, even the cash transfer. They are still telling us now that they will start the cash transfer and they were playing politics with it that they were diverting it to their accounts.

“After today, we review our situation and decide on other steps to be taken,” Ajaero said.

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