By Fayemi Johnson
Ekiti state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has expressed support for workers’ agitation for new minimum wage describing it as legitimate and worthy of being given considerations by both federal and state governments.
Fayemi stated this on Wednesday in Ado Ekiti as workers joined their colleagues across the 36 states in a sensitization protest to press for new national minimum wage of N30,000.
They took their protest from the Mobil Filling Station in Ajilosun area of Ado Ekiti and terminated it at the Governor’s office to meet Governor Fayemi on their grievances on the proposed new wage.
The protest, coordinated by the National Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC), Com. Solomon Adelegan, was also attended by the Chairman of NLC in Ekiti, Com. Ade Adesanmi, his colleague in the Trade Union Congress(TUC), Com Odunayo Adesoye and the Secretary of Joint Negotiating Council, Com. Blessing Oladele.
The labour leaders insisted that it was smacked of insensitivity for the FG to have turned down the N30,000 proposal, when it could afford jumbo pay for politicians.
Fayemi, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Biodun Omoleye and the Head of Service, Dr. Gbenga Faseluka, boosted the morale of the workers in spite of unfavourable dispositions from the governors when he said his government would do everything to support the demand since it was a product of law and constitution of the land.
Before getting to the governor’s office, the workers had earlier addressed the public at the popular Erekesan market and urged them not to be misinformed by media hype from some quarters on the planned strike.
Fayemi said: “My government as you all know is labour-friendly. The agitations for new national minimum wage is legitimate and let me tell you, my government will never allow workers to go hungry again by working without getting their pay.
“The present wages you are taking can no longer take you half home. As a responsible government, we must listen to your voices. We will take your demands to the Governors’ Forum and we will put up a voice for you there.
“Here in Ekiti, we will not only pay your salaries and pensions as and when due, we will also engage in capacity building to motivate workers.”
The NLC National Vice President, Solomon Adelegan and State Chairman of TUC, Com. Odunayo Adesoye, said the National Minimum Wage ought to have been reviewed since 2015 based on the proposition that the law should be reviewed every five years, in accordance with the law.
They said: “Go and check the records, Nigerian workers are the least paid in Africa and globally. South Africa, Ghana and other smaller countries are paying better wages.
“In a country where government can’t pay just N30,000 minimum wage, its Senators remain the highest paid in the world, this in insensitive.
“So, if the government refuses to sign into law before November 11, 2018, we will not hesitate to grind every sector of this country”, he said.