The Nigeria Labour Congress says It was shocking to read a statement credited to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, that the Federal Government was working to reduce the high cost of governance by cutting down on the salaries of Nigerian workers.
The Minister was reported to have said this in Abuja at a policy dialogue on corruption and cost of governance in Nigeria organised by the ICPC. The Minister of Finance was also reported to have directed the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to immediately review the salaries of civil servants as well as the number of federal agencies in the country.
It is most unthinkable that government would be contemplating to unilaterally slash the salaries of Nigerian workers at this time.
The question to ask is “which salary is government planning to slash?” It certainly cannot be the meagre national minimum wage of N30000 which right now cannot even buy a bag of rice!
It is public knowledge that the multiple devaluation of the Naira in a very short time and the prevailing high inflation rate in Nigeria has knocked out the salaries earned by Nigerian workers across board.
lt is, therefore, extremely horrendous for a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to pronounce salary slash for Nigerian workers at this time.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Minister of Finance to order now before she sets Nigeria on fire.
This move is not only at great odds with global best responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also in violation of relevant ILO Conventions and Declarations on Wages and Decent Work.