By Moses Adeniyi
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured that the State will pay above the new controversial N30, 000 minimum wage.
This assurance is coming amid the controversies which have trailed the implementation of the new policy across States in the federation.
Sanwo-Olu gave this assurance on Tuesday when he received a team of Nigerian Labour Movement, comprising of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Lagos State Council, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Lagos State Council and subsequently the Lagos State Joint Public Service Negotiation Council (JNC).
Addressing the controversy trailing the minimum wage constituted a major item among other demands the Labour Unions tabled before the Governor.
Assuring workers that his administration is committed to their welfare, Sanwo-Olu stated that the State will be playing an exemplary role in terms of standing above the board in ensuring that workers remuneration is above the N30, 000 minimum wage.
Other items on the list of demands the Labour Unions presented before the Governor include; addressing insurance premiums on health of workers, non payment of gratuity and proper compensation for retired workers, housing schemes, ease of tax matters, transportation and training for workers among others.
Presenting the demands, the Chairperson, NLC, Lagos State Council, Mrs. Funmi Sessi, mentioned that workers are subjected to harsh conditions which requires pressing demands for the government to address.
She said the Labour Unions are co-stakeholders in ensuring effective running of government.
She stressed that workers are ready to give their all to ensuring effective running of governance if their welfare is properly considered and their efforts adequately compensated.
She lamented that there are no housing provisions for workers in the State, stressing that many workers after retirement return back to rented apartments.
She implored the Governor to adopt a housing scheme programme for workers, with a system where payment can be spread across a number of years.
Noting that the gratuity of retired senior citizens have been stopped since 2015, the Unions called the attention of the Governor in ensuring that matters concerning their welfare are considered.
The unions further demanded the Governor to resuscitate the government-labour meeting forum which was stopped during the last administration.
According to the Chairperson, the forum will ensure a platform to be preemptive and proactive in addressing Labour related matters.
Other demands the Unions presented include a request for secretariats, ease on tax matters, a carnival for the May Workers’ Day Celebration.
The Union however demanded for the appointment of a Labour extracted Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour Matters, and representation in constituing all other Labour related boards.
According to the Chairman, JNC, Mr. Rasaq Falade, the office of a labour extracted Special Adviser to the Governor will serve as a connecting interface between the Labour Unions and the government.
He further called for devolution of powers to local governments to oversee sanitation exercises in the State.
He added that devolving the powers will enable local governments to ensure offsetting clumsy drainages which according to him is a major source of flooding, causing havoc to road infrastructures.
Rasaq stressed that the Unions have resolved to call on the Governor to address problems of poor remuneration of statutory deductions which includes contributory pensions, check-off duties and cooperation deductions.
Moreover, he lauded the Governor for his cooperation with the Unions, stating that the inclusiveness of his Administration has given good attention to gender and corporate representation. Sanwo-Olu however assured that his Administration will look into the requests to address the demands.