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Labour leader seeks pay rise to cushion recession

By Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin
28 November 2016   |   3:30 am
Aremu, who is also the World Vice President of Global Industrial Union (GIU), explained that workers’ purchasing power had drastically reduced, thereby adversely affecting other sectors of the economy.
Issa Aremu

Issa Aremu

A Formal National Vice President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Issa Aremu has said that for the country to come out of recession the government must immediately increase workers’ salaries.

He spoke at an interactive forum between the Kwara State House of Assembly and the organised labour unions on the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in Ilorin yesterday.

Aremu, who is also the World Vice President of Global Industrial Union (GIU), explained that workers’ purchasing power had drastically reduced, thereby adversely affecting other sectors of the economy.

He maintained that unless there was a new wage regime in the country, the contributory pension scheme could be in jeopardy and the nation, according to him, would continue to wallow in economic doldrums.

Aremu, who cited the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) reports to justify his claims, said the country needed a new wage regime to keep the nation’s economy going and praised the legislature for organising the discussion forum.

The Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Yekeen Agunbiade observed among other things, that it would be difficult to deduct eight per cent minimum mandatory contribution from the meagre salaries of workers, due to loan repayment, decline in federal allocation.

Declaring the interactive session open, the Speaker, Ali Ahmad had said the interactive session was convened by the Assembly to sound out labour’s opinions on the bill and assured that the House under his leadership had no vested interest, but to enact practicable law that would be acceptable to all civil servants in the state.

Earlier, the Chairman, House Committee on Establishment and Training, Emmanuel Abodunrin had restated the commitment of the house to legislate on the new pension scheme that would be embraced by all.

He said lawmakers would not be party to any law that would go against the wish of the people and called on stakeholders to make meaningful inputs to the new pension law in the state.