The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has accused state governors of being the biggest beneficiaries of the fuel subsidy removal which has plunged millions of Nigerians into abject poverty.
The union however asked state governments yet to replicate the federal government’s wage award to federal employees as interim measure to cushion the hardship occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal to ensure they do so.
NASU President Comrade Makolo Hassan made the call Tuesday in Abuja at the 8th Quadrennial Delegates Conference with the theme ” Trade Unionism in the Era of Economic Crisis: Addressing the Increasing Poverty Level of Nigerian Workers.”
“In view of the fact that all State government workers are equally affected by the same hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy, we call on the remaining state governments to, as a matter of urgency, announce and implement their awards.
“State governments have no option than to do so because they are the biggest beneficiaries of fuel subsidy removal in view of the quantum of increase in the allocations they are now receiving from the Federation account,” the union leader said.
Hassan also called on President Bola Tinubu to kick-start the processes of reviewing the current National Minimum Wage Act, as workers were struggling to survive the harsh economy and an extremely high cost of living which was no longer commensurate with their take home pay.
While noting that the country was facing an economic crisis, the NASU boss lamented the monetary policies of the immediate past and current government, which according to him, had given rise to an inflation rate of 27.3 percent, an exchange rate of as high as N1,100 to a dollar as at the time of report, and the high price of pump price of petrol currently at N640 per litre, and as such, was making mockery of the current minimum wage.
“The call for the review of the National Minimum Wage has become urgent in view of the information given by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its report for October 2023, which stated that the major contributors to the increase in inflation were food and non alcoholic beverages, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel, clothing and footwear, transport, furnishings, household equipment and maintenance. The continued rise in inflation was attributed to removal of petrol subsidy and the devaluation of the official exchange rate
“I therefore call on the President to, as a matter of urgency, constitute a National Minimum Wage Negotiating Committee to review the current National Minimum Wage Act,” he said.