A political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progreasives Congress (APC) , Comrade Timi Frank, on Friday said that Nigerians should not take the leadership of the nation’s Labour Unions serious over their threat to call workers for a strike if the government refuses to pay the N30,000 minimum wage.
Frank described the labour leaders as ‘traders’ and said that they have been compromised to the extent that they can no longer fight for the welfare of their members.
Reacting to the latest threat by the organized labour to go on strike if federal government refuse to meet their demand, the political activist, in a statement in Abuja, urged Nigerians to ignore the threat, saying the NLC’s cry came too late.
He lamented that with the current imposed charges on telecommunications providers, Value Added Tax, increased bank charges, proposed toll gates and partial closure of land borders, the N30,000 minimum wage has become useless.
According to him, already, on every recharge card Nigerians buy there is 5% being charged VAT, wondering why burdensome policies on the common man by the APC’s Government.
The activist said he believes that the labour leaders were making empty threats so as to be seen as serving the interest of their members while they wine and dine with top administration’s officials.
Going down memory lane, Frank recalled that during ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration that “gave more attention to Nigerian workers’ plight, TUC, NLC, ASUU, Health workers and others were always in the news for one demand or the other and frequently embarking on strike and demonstrations but they can no longer bite because most of their leaders are now card carrying members of the APC.
“The Buhari-led federal government promised the Nigerian workers heaven on earth before the general elections but has been complaining of no money to pay workers just N30,000.
“However, when it is time to use money for elections, the administration will not mind to deep hands into various revenue generating agencies to prosecute their selfish agenda”, Frank said.
Frank said the politicised Labour Union is one of the problems of Nigeria as they have refused to take action to resist bad policies of government.
He wondered how the Buhari-led government would accomplish their pledge to bring out 100 million Nigerians out of poverty when it has refused to pay ordinary N30,000 as minimum wage.
“All over the world, Labour Unions are always the first to speak up against unnecessary increase in taxes, bad policies and other actions that have direct bearing on the citizens but in Nigeria, most of the Union leaders are compromised and have turned a blind eye to the plight of their members,” Frank said.