NLC warns against slashing workers’ salaries over COVID-19 crisis

* Coronavirus pandemic threatens 13 million jobs in Nigeria, says UN

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

While available facts have shown that the negative development is already taking place in several organisations in the private sector of the Nigerian economy as fallout of the Coronavirus crisis, Kabiru Minjibir, Chairman, Kano State Branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has cautioned against any attempt to slash the salaries of workers in the country.

Minjibir, who gave the warning in a telephone interview with The Punch, in Kano, Kano State, Northern Nigeria, Wednesday, June 10, said any attempt to reduce the workers’ salaries would be met with stiff resistance from the Nigerian workers.

Report says that the Kano State NLC Chairman was reacting to the advice given to Federal and state governments by Sen. Mohammed Ali Ndume, a lawmaker representing Borno South in the Nigerian Senate, to slash the salaries of workers.

The Labour leader described Sen. Ndume’s advice as “ill-timed”, considering the harsh socio-economic situation in the country as of now.

It is recalled that Ndume reportedly advised both Federal and state governments to cut the salaries of workers to enable them to execute capital projects.

“It is not the right time for the lawmaker to give such advice because it’s not the right time to reduce workers’ salaries as they are not being given any palliative.

“Since workers are not being given palliatives, their salaries should not be tampered with,” Minjibir warned.

On the ultimatum the NLC gave to Kano State Government to refund deductions from its members’ salaries or face strike, Minjibir said the deadline given to government would expire Monday, June 15, 2020.

The committee set up by the state government under the leadership of Alhaji Usman Alhaji, Secretary to the State Government, had met twice with state NLC’s representatives with a view to resolving the issue amicably, he noted.

In the meantime, the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to the loss of 13 million jobs in Nigeria, a statement by the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations said Wednesday, June 10.

The UN agency stressed that Nigeria needs urgent financial intervention to boost its economy, as millions of citizens across the country are currently suffering the harsh economic impact of the fatal virus ravaging several economies across the world.

Elisabeth Byrs, WFP’s Senior Spokesperson, in the statement, stated that more than $182million was needed to sustain life-saving aid to Africa’s most populous country over the next six months.

Byrs explained that over 3.8 million citizens, particularly those in the informal sector, could lose their jobs.

That the figure could rise to 13 million if the restriction on movements persists for long, said she.

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