TUC president, Dr. Bobboi Bala Kaigama, while addressing newsmen over the weekend said most of them were now living below the poverty line.
According to Kaigama, the middle class had been completely wiped out in the country as a result of the high level of inflation.
He said, “It is worthy of note that the Palliative Committee set up by the Government to fashion out measures to cushion the effect of petrol price increase on the people had concluded its assignment and established the framework for the negotiation of a new National Minimum Wage. We therefore appeal to the Federal Government to set up the Committee to do the negotiation so that a new National Minimum Wage for the Country can be arrived at in the next few months.
“The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria strongly condemns the call for the removal of National Minimum Wage from the Exclusive list to the Concurrent list by the House of Representatives, in a bill being sponsored by one of its members. The Congress sees this in bad light and as an attempt to alter the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from the back door.”
“For the umpteenth time, it needs be emphasized that labour rather than politicians have held this country together even from colonial days. Any attempt to openly or surreptitiously undermine the Nigerian workers or labour movement shall be resisted with all arsenals within our control. To be for warned is to be for armed,” he added.
Also commenting on the nation’s budget, he stated that, “We have observed that politician have a tradition of taking advantage of our annual fiscal plans to loot the national treasury.
“It is often packaged in a manner that it elicits the hopes of Nigerians, but the promise was never achieved. We acknowledge the fact that our sorry state pre-dates this administration. What Nigerians are after now is no longer a matter of who caused our problem but how the country can get back on its feet again.
“Yes, there is urgent need for serious restructuring and overhauling of the whole system. We need policies, designed to permanently put the economy on a path of sustainable growth.”