Civil Rights Groups in Nigeria on Friday called for the sanitization of Nigeria’s Labour market to ensure better conditions for wokers.
Speaking on the plight of workers, the Lagos State Chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) Mr Ehi Omokhuale said that there was the need for the incoming administration to ensure better conditions for workers.
“The expectations are very high. Nigerian workers have been at the mercy of bad governance with many states refusing to implement the minimum wage.
“The incoming administration should make the minimum wage a State Policy and ensure that all states implement it” Omokuale told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview.
He said that there was no reason for any state not to pay the minimum wage.
“There is the need for governments to reduce political offices and its unnecessary attachments to make sure that workers are well taken care of” he said.
Also speaking, the Executive Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Mr Debo Adeniran blamed the plight of Nigerian workers on the nation’s nose-diving economy.
“The incoming government as a matter of priority should declare economic emergency in order to remove unnecessary and irrelevant projects affecting wages in the country.
“The incoming administration should take an inventory of the nation’s workforce to ensure optimal production from the workers and better remuneration.
“The salary of most average Nigerian workers cannot satisfy their immediate needs which should not be so” he said.
Adeniran called for the creation of more jobs through the establishment of more industries and institutions.
He said that there was a need to establish a friendly environment for businesses to thrive in the nation so as to avoid bloated workforce in the country.
“The private sector when empowered will plough back into the system to assist governments in taking care of its workforce” he said.
The CACOL Chairman, however, warned state governments against non payment of workers’ salary, insisting that there was no justification for that.
“States that are currently owing their workers should suspend all irrelevant projects and pay their workers” he said.
In his views, Mr Rasaq Oladosu, the National Coordinator of the Ooduah Democratic Coalition (ODC) said that it was wrong for the federal government to be held responsible for the inability of states to implement the minimum wage.
“The federal government cannot negotiate wage so it is a misnomer for people to expect it to do so for states.
“However, while the viability of states vary, there is no justification for any state to owe its workers.
“The Labour Leaders should ask questions and take on the states that are indebted to their workers.
“The issues of state governments owing workers are getting worse. In Osun for instance, workers are owed about six months, Oyo four months, Ogun three months with Kogi slashing the salary of its workers.
“This trend must stop and states must find ways of generating more revenue rather than relying solely on federal government allocation” he added.