Civil servants urge National Assembly to reject plans to deregulate workers’ wage
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to reject the recommendation by the Committee on True Federalism that wage and other labour-related matters should be removed from Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List.
The labour leaders posited that if wage and other labour-related matters were removed from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List, state governors, most of who are not paying workers’ salaries, would use the opportunity to further impoverish Nigerian workers and their families.
A statement by the association’s National President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and the Secretary-General, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal, submitted that labour like other institutions such as the army, navy, air force, customs service and immigration are symbols of national unity and should accordingly be retained in the Exclusive Legislative List.
According to the union, the panel led by Nasir El-Rufai did no research to establish the fact that all countries have national minimum wage.The ASCSN leaders warned that anarchy would prevail in the industrial relations arena if workers in the 36 states of the federation start forming their own trade unions and wondered how many unions would exist in the state and how negotiation would be carried out.
They regretted that in this 21st century, those who parade themselves as governors and politicians in the country are incapable of comprehending the fact that all countries of the world fix national minimum wage below which no worker should earn precisely because the welfare of the people is the main reason why governments exist.
The ASCSN chieftains said Governor El-Rufai had been waging a war of attrition against trade unions in Kaduna State and at a time tried to dissolve all unions by demanding that thousands of workers in the state should reapply to join any trade union of their choice contrary to extant labour laws, judicial pronouncements, and Conventions 87 and 98 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on the right of workers to organise and collective bargaining.
In another development, the Senate yesterday condemned the prevailing hardship being faced by Nigerians in securing international passports.It also urged the Immigration Service to ensure that the undue scarcity of passport ceases.
Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki made this charge while commissioning a new passport office at the National Assembly in Abuja.Saraki who described the prevailing situation as worrisome also thanked Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, for the good initiative of locating a passport office at the National Assembly.
He said the establishment of the passport office at the National Assembly will help to further strengthen the relationship between the legislative arm of government and the executive.