Posted by Collins Olayinka, Abuja | 10 March 2018 | 3,991 times
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has insisted that the new minimum wage must come into effect in July this year.
President of Congress, Ayuba Wabba, who told The Guardian in an exclusive interview in Abuja, yesterday, added that Congress would reject any date that is beyond July.
Wabba highlighted that arrangements have been finalised to sign the agreement in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, this year.
He said: “Going by all the data submitted so far to the negotiation committee, we believe that a new wage is possible in July. Labour will reject any date that is beyond July and we have made that known to the government.”
The NLC chief also accused the Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, of seeking to sign the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, without consulting labour, manufacturers and the National Assembly.
He stated: “Admittedly a free trade agreement is not a customs union in the sense that Member States abolish only tariffs between them, while maintaining their own tariffs on third world countries, but this would already be impossible.
“Far from promoting regional integration of the continent, it will disintegrate it strongly in opening wide the doors to multinationals already well implemented in most African countries and which would concentrate their activities in the most competitive countries from which they would export to the others.”
Wabba explained that the trade agreement, which is being pushed by the European Union and World Trade Organisation (WTO), would damage Africa’s economy and promote massive unemployment.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Organisation Trade Union of West Africa (OTUWA), John Odah, while faulting the agreement, said only Nigeria and The Gambia and other few countries in the continent are yet to sign the document.
He added: “Indeed, the new acronym is a new one. The old one was the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) they have been pushing, which has failed. The agreement is a bad move for the labour and manufacturers in the continent and will further subject Africa to the negative effects of the neo-liberal policies on the West.” (The Guardian)
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