Ahmed Makarfi, a former governor of Kaduna state, has asked the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to demand good governance rather than fighting for money all the time.
Makarfi gave the advice while speaking with journalists at the 36th plenary/AGM of the unity schools old students association which was held at the Federal Government College, Kaduna, on Saturday.
He said the unionists always end up getting an amount lower than what they need, which will not be beneficial to them.
“I had challenged, even before I became a governor, labour leaders I knew that if they talked of money, money, money, they would end up with money that was not going to be useful,” he said.
“Rather, hold government accountable. Demand for good governance, demand for infrastructure, demand for security, demand a lot of things that are expected from government, a living wage which will be minimal.
“But if you are always asking for money, somebody gives you N10 and takes away N30 for example, how do you benefit?
“When you hear of wage increase in serious economies, it is by 1, 2, 2.3 percent because it is not about the money; it is about what the government should provide. But here in Nigeria, we have freed the government from providing those things and said no, give me, I can provide for myself when it is not possible.”
NLC threatened to embark on a nationwide strike from October 16 if deliberations on minimum wage adjustments are not successful.
The new minimum wage of N30,000 has not been implemented because the government and labour unions failed to reach an agreement on the consequential adjustment of salaries.
The organised labour had demanded 29 percent salary increase for officers on salary level 07 to 14, and 24 percent adjustment for officers on salary grade level 15 to 17.
However, the government presented a proposal of 11 percent salary increase for officers on grade level 07 to 14, and 6.5 percent adjustment for workers of grade level 15 to 17.
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