NLC protest is about hunger, not minimum wage – Ajaero 

THE President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, has said the nationwide protest being held across the country today Tuesday, February 27, and Wednesday, February 28, is not about the pending minimum wage but ravaging hunger across the nation.

Ajaero stated this on Tuesday at the commencement of the protest in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

“There’s absolute hunger. You say we should not say we are hungry, so we should keep quiet and die. We say no; that’s why we’re coming out. 

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“The UN said that the poorest man should be fed on $2.00 per day. That’s the poorest, and if you have a family of six people at $2.00 per day, multiplied by six is $12.00. In a month, you have $360.00, which translates to about 700,000 naira. Is that the minimum wage you are talking about? I’m not talking about transportation or medical,” Ajaero said. 

Ajaero said the workers had told the government what to do as a short-term solution to the hardship. 

He said there had been hunger in the country before the present administration took over but it was not as bad as currently witnessed across the nation.

“There was hunger in the land, but it wasn’t this bad until deregulation. And then, after the deregulation, we proposed all that we needed to. If they had solved the problem of transportation immediately, they would have solved almost 50 per cent of the problem,” he argued.

He accused the Federal Government of playing politics with issues affecting the vast majority of citizens and diverting money for cash transfers into private accounts.

He claimed that no state government had paid wage awards. He also blamed food scarcity in the country on insecurity.

He said Nigeria could not attain sufficiency in food supply when farmers could not go to farms due to bandit attacks. 

The ICIR reported that the NLC declared a two-day nationwide mass protest for February 27 and 28 over the worsening hardship in the country.

Ajaero announced this at the Labour House headquarters in Abuja during an emergency press conference on Friday, February 16.



    He said the decision to protest was made after the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum issued to the Federal Government over hardship across the country.

    Meanwhile, the Federal Government failed to persuade the NLC to suspend its planned nationwide protest.

    At a meeting on Monday night, the NLC, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and other labour leaders met with the government’s team, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

    After the meeting ended in a deadlock, Ajaero announced that the union would proceed with its planned nationwide protest.



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