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Labour Opposes Move By FG To Slash Salaries, Merge MDAs

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has opposed moves by the Federal Government to cut salaries of civil servants as well as the number of federal agencies.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had said the FG was working to reduce the high cost of governance by cutting the salaries of civil servants as well as the number of federal agencies.

The Minister gave the indication at a ‘National Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Cost of Governance in Nigeria’ organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja.

She directed the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) to immediately review the salaries of civil servants as well as the number of federal agencies in the country.

But in a statement by President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the Congress stated it was most unthinkable that government would be contemplating to unilaterally slash the salaries of Nigerian workers at this time.

Labour argued that multiple devaluation of the naira in a very short time and the prevailing high inflation rate in Nigeria have knocked out the salaries earned by Nigerian workers across board.

“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!

“The proposed slash in salaries is certainly not targeted at the minimum wage and consequential adjustment in salaries that some callous State Governors are still dragging their feet to pay!

“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.

“Nigerian workers are only surviving by hair’s breadth. Indeed, Nigerian workers are miracles strutting on two legs. It is, therefore, extremely horrendous for a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to pronounce salary slash for Nigerian workers at this time,” the statement said.

According to Labour, the call for salary slash by the Minister is tantamount to a “mass suicide” wish for Nigerian workers.

“It is most uncharitable, most insensitive, most dehumanising and most barbaric. Nigerian workers demand an immediate retraction and apology by the Minister of Finance,” the statement said.

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