The President of the United Labour Congress, Mr Joe Ajaero, said on Wednesday that the new N30,000 minimum wage would be meaningful if the Federal Government addressed infrastructure deficit in the country.
Ajaero made the statement while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on the challenges facing Nigerian workers as they joined the rest of the world to celebrate International Workers’ Day.
According to him, government needs to ease the suffering of Nigerians by consciously ensuring that there is effective transport system, good road network and good medical facilities among others.
He said that efficient electricity supply, portable water and affordable housing should be provided in order not to erode the benefits of the newly approved wage.
On casualisation, the labour leader said that the provision of employment opportunities was the only way to stop the abuse of workers’ rights as casuals.
“If the government creates more opportunities for jobs, a worker who is not treated well in a job can leave that job for another one.
“Every employer or organisation wants to maximise profit. The essence of casual employment is to pay slave wage that is why employers prefer casual workers.’’
Ajaero said it was regrettable that closure of factories as a result of poor electricity supply and unfavourable policies had made casual employment to thrive.
He noted, however, that the refusal of unions in many organisations to join the labour movement was a major factor affecting the growth of industrial unions in the country.
Mr Innocent Jaja, President of the National Union of Shop and Distribution Employees, told the Federal Government to review necessary policies that would improve the ease of doing business.
Jaja said that this would create more jobs for people, especially the shop and distribution union, reduce the level of insecurity and boost growth. (NAN)