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By: Ade Adeleke
The Nigerian Civil Service Union, (NCSU) has vowed that organised labour will vehemently reject any attempt by the Federal Government to introduce economic policies including tax increment that will deny workers of the benefits attached to the new #30,000 minimum wage.
The National President of the Nigeria’s oldest Union, Comrade Lawrence Ameachi and the Ondo State Chairman, Comrade Ademola Olapade gave the indication during the inauguration of the newly constructed Relaxation Centre named “NCSU Bar” located at the Union’s State Secretariat, on Oda Road, Akure.
The NCSU President who Represented by the Deputy President, Comrade Sunday Adeleye, insisted that hike in fuel price, higher taxation and other policies that could affect negatively the purchasing power of workers as a result of the new wage, would not be accepted by the organized labour in the country.
Ameachi said, “we are not going to accept any policies that would further impoverish workers in this country. The new minimum wage can’t take us anywhere and therefore anything that will affect the new wage would not be accepted”.
He noted that, “We will not take increase in price of fuel, we will not accept increase in VAT (Value Added Tax), NLC, TUC and others have vowed to resist pump price because this present government had told us then that it had removed subsidy and that was its justification for the increase of fuel price to #145 per litre”.
On the inaugurated project, the NCSU President commended the Ondo state Executives-led by Ademola Olapade for justifying and expending members’ funds prudently.
Also speaking, the the Ondo State Chairman, Comrade Ademola Olapade also cautioned against introduction of obnoxious economic policies that would affect workers.
Olapade said, “I have contrary opinion to introduction or increase in Value Added Tax (VAT), it will impose undue financial burden on workers and Nigerians in general”.
The State Chairman noted that, “It is not easy, no increment in tax should be allowed to erode the benefits of the new minimum wage, it is not easy before you take salary, tax has taken larger part of it, it is not good at all”
“I want to plead with the federal government to shelve that idea of increasing VAT or any tax because we know what that means, for government to approve new minimum wage and use tax to take it, is not going to be acceptable to our members (workers)”.
Olapade said, “I equally want to appeal to the Nigeria Labour Congress President in person of Comrade Ayuba Wabba and other labour leaders in the country to stand firm that issue of VAT increment and any other economic policies that will affect the new minimum wage should not be acceptable from the Federal government”.
“The (Secretariat Bar) project was started by my predecessor (now the State NLC Chairman) and during my campaign period we tagged our team consolidation team, so I decided to complete the Bar Project to consolidate on the project the former (NCSU) Chairman left behind”, he stated.
“Secondly while the project was executed, is to let my members know that I am doing projects that will improve their welfare, that their (monthly) Check-off dues are being used judiciously. Apart of this, we are assisting to improve welfare of many of them”.
On the new minimum wage, Olapade explained that, “on the new minimum wage, I am very happy with the State governor Arakunrin (Oluwarotimi) Akeredolu, our members who workers are very happy, the governor has done the best thing by agreeing to pay the thirty thousand naira new minimum wage without allowing the issue to lead to industrial crisis”.
“We very happy because the pronouncement by the governor has taken away pressure from we labour leaders, we don’t need to face (industrial) crisis over the implementation (of the new wage) again”, the NCSU Chairman opined.