Trade Union Congress (TUC) has said that one of the ways the Federal government can cushion the effect of the removal of petroleum subsidy is for President Tinubu to increase the minimum wage of workers in the country to N200, 000.
President and General Secretary of TUC, Festus Osifo and Nuhu Toro respectively, made this demand in a statement jointly signed and released on Monday, May 5.
He said these were parts of their demands during their ongoing negotiation with the government. Osifo stated that they also demanded that the “status quo ante of PMS pump price” should be maintained while discussion continues, adding that a representative of state governors must be a party to the communique, and that 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 +- 2% for the next ten (10) years where the fluctuation is more that 2%, the minimum wage will automatically increase at the same rate.
Setting up of intervention fund where government will be paying N10 per liter 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 subsidized transportation system to reduce the pressure on workers and students. The framework around this will be worked out.”
Osifo also called for immediate review of the National Health Insurance Scheme to cover more Nigerians and prevent out of stock of drugs.
According to him, visitation of the refineries that are currently undergoing rehabilitation to ascertain state of work and setting up timeline for its completion. He said the president should direct who ever will be labour minister to immediately constitute the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC), saying that this platform will be used by government, Labour and employer to discuss issues and policies of government that may affect workers and all other mandate as specified in the law.
“Provision of subsidy directly for food items, the 800million 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. Medium Term: 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 by both parties. Labour and government to design a framework that will be geared towards the reduction of cost of governance by 15% in 2024 and 30% 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.” Osifo said