NLC protest: Bring back our N12,000 Wage Awards – Anambra workers tells Soludo

Anambra workers on Tuesday decried withdrawal of the N12,000 wage award announced by Governor Chukwuma Soludo to cushion effect of fuel subsidy removal.

Soludo had earlier last year, announced introduction of the wage award per worker in September, for four months, to end in December, 2024.

The workers, during the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) nationwide protest in Awka, wondered why the governor would remove the wage awards, when the hardship occassioned by the fuel subsidy removal had not abatted.

Addressing the workers, State NLC Chairman, Comrade Humphery Nwafor noted that removal of the wage award means increased suffering for the masses.

He said the protest was in line with the directive of the national body against policies of Federal Government.

Describing the protest as peaceful, Nwafor urged the workers not to be violent and ensure they conducted themselves in an orderly manner.

He said, “We are marching against the policies of the Federal Government that have inflicted hardship on the entire citizenry, not only the workers.

“We want government to end the hardship, hunger, consistent increase in exchange rate. Workers are slumping and dying everyday. People are walking corpse.

“Inflation has taken over everything we worked for. The N30,000 minimum wage which some states are not paying is no longer enough.

“We can’t pay our house rent, feed our children and pay their school fees. You go to the market and come back with empty bag. The federal government must have to address this problem.”

On his part, State NLC Vice Chairman, Comrade Ifeanyichukwu Nweke, who represents the National Union of Electricity Employees, said the severe hardship masses were faced with informed the strike.

Describing the opposition political parties in the country as toothless bulldogs, Nweke maintained that the workers are clearly the opposition now, hence the need to protest.

He revealed that Anambra is not paying the N30,000 minimum wage, yet, it has withdrawn the wage award.

“The workers, not just the poor, needs to breathe.

“It is a shameful thing that the Anambra is not paying the minimum wage and we are calling on the State Governor, as an economist, who understands the economy very well, to do something about this.

“The wage awards should be restored, while efforts continue to ensure that the minimum wage is paid, in line with present day economic realities,” he posited.

On his part, the Chairperson of Academic Staff Union of Univeristies, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Comrade Kingsley Uba Orji said the protest doest abhor anybody in the Nigerian system, as no one is immune to what is happening.

“Even the security men who put their lives on the line to save the nation, are not well-taken care of.

“All labourers are out today to tell both the Federal and State Governments that enough is enough.

“The wage award is not acceptable. Let them restore the economy to better days or start paying us salaries from N1.2 million and above,” he said.

Addressing the protesters on behalf of the security agencies that came out for the protest, an NSCDC Deputy Commander of Corps, DCC Ya Mohammed assured the protesters that their presence was to secure them while the protest lasted but urged them not to allow the exercise to be hijacked by hoodlums.

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