Escalated killings by Boko Haram, insuecurity of lives and property, kidnappings, armed robbery and other vices reigned suupreme in the outgoing year in Nigeria.
Nigeria should ask themselves, is the country jinxed or enchanted by all these menaces. In addition to these vices, harvest of strikes pervading the nation.
On November 4, 2018, the Acade-mic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in their yearly ritual, began seven-day warning strike saying that the action could drag on indefinitely if the Federal Government continued to maintain its recalcitrant posture on the issue. After serious deliberations and meetings, ASUU soft-peddalled. Its main grouse with the government is the underfunding of the university system, citing the UNESCO’s policy of dedicating about 10 per cent of every country’s budget to education which up till now, government has refused to implement. The strike was put on hold which according to ASUU chairman, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, was due to the harm it would do to the students by way of forced holiday and the economic effect on the nation.
Not long afterwards, another group, the Association of Senior Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASSUP) began their own strike citing as usual, the non-implementation of the agreement with the Federal Government. Hitherto, the status quo still remains by the two teaching unions.
The Nigerian Labour Congress, the ULC, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC) in their separate deliberations had threatened to resume their actions if by December 31, government fails to pay the agreed minimum wage of N30,000 in an agreement they reached with the Federal Governnment through a report submitted by the tripartite committee set up by the governnment. Earlier on the NLC had demanded N60,000 which the Federal Government said was unable to pay. Thereafter NLC shifted their ground to the N30,000 on which the government is still dilly-dallying.
Even state governnments in their emperor posture they are known for through their spokesperson Governor Abdullaziz Yari of Zamfara State categorically said the states could only pay N17,500 or else would have to reduce their workforces by way of more sack. This in short, is the situation at present.
The Federal Government had been asked to slash the salaries and emoluments of the National Assembly members who go home monthly with tonnes of Naira and other governnment functionaries.
We believe strongly that the Federal Governnment can ucomfortably pay the agreed N30,000 and it is only playing with the welfare of workes nationwide which to say the least is unfeeling and inhuman. Even the proposed N30,000 minimum wage could still not take any worker home going by rate of the Naira to the Dollar at present
Workers should not be allowed to start the New Year on a sad note.
We hereby strongly appeal to the government to immediately implement the payment of the N30,000 minimum wage failure of which could have deleterious effect on our wobbling and fumbling economy which we believe is not out of the woods yet.
Time is now to hearken to the cries of the populace to save the country from imminent collapse.
The government should do the needful: implement the agreements recached between it and ASUU and ASSUP. Ditto for the NLC to relieve the tension currently ravaging the country as the government of President Buhari still hangs in the balance for the second term in the office due to no-implementation of these agreements.