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Industrial action long overdue, say students


Chinonso Obasi

The African Students Education Support Initiative (ASESI) has expressed support for the strike embarked upon by organised labour to demand a new national minimum wage.

ASESI’s Executive Director, Chinoso Obasi, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, said the strike over demand for a review of the national minimum wage was long overdue.

He lamented that in spite of poor salaries paid to Nigerian workers, the salaries do not come as and when due in most cases, as the Federal Government makes it seem like a privilege instead of the workers’ right.

“The present working condition of workers in Nigeria is not acceptable. The present minimum wage does not conform to the country’s economic reality. Therefore, the demand for an increase is a right cause that has the solidarity and support of ASESI.


“When workers are not paid well, parents find it hard to sponsor their children efficiently, therefore, the demand for increase in minimum wage is also indirect demand for better welfare for Nigerian students.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, had on Wednesday met labour leaders who were part of the Tripartite Committee on the new National Minimum Wage for an update on government’s position.

Ngige and the organised labour agreed to reconvene the meeting of the National Minimum Wage Committee on October 4, 2018.

Meanwhile, students of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) and Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi have expressed displeasure over the strike embarked upon by the labour movement in the country.

Organised abour said the declaration of the seven-day warning strike became inevitable after talks with the Federal Government over a new minimum wage failed.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Bauchi, Emmanuel Gaius, a Biological Science student of ATBU, said the strike had already started having a negative impact on him.

“We are supposed to be reading in the library right now and getting prepared for an 11 o’clock test. Unfortunately, the library is locked due to the strike and my mind is unsettled right now.

As you can see as well, most of the classrooms too are locked down. But we are waiting to hear from the school management soon,” Gaius said.

Also speaking, Dindah Lumi of the Department of Education, expressed fears that his graduation might be extended if the strike continues.

Adam Yahuza, a student of Quantity Survey Department, Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, expressed concerns that he could not receive treatment at the medical centre due to the strike.

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ASESIATBUChinoso Obasi
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