Minimum Wage: Peterside Urges Wike, NLC to End Rift

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Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, has urged Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to end the face-off over minimum wage.

Peterside, in a statement on Sunday, said the disagreement was uncalled for. He urged them to return to the negotiating table.

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NLC, through its Rivers State Chairman, Beatrice Itubo, said workers would no longer tolerate the government’s recklessness, especially for not paying what was negotiated. She asked employees to be on the alert and await directive.

Commissioner for Information and Communication Paulinus Nsirim, however, said “it is unfortunate that the Beatrice Itubo-led NLC, rather than appreciate the government for the prompt payment of the minimum wage, allowed themselves to be willing tools in the hands of politicians.

‘’NLC’s leadership should come out clearly to tell the people that they are politicians, instead of hiding under the cover of labour to propagate their political agenda.

“The government has begun paying the new minimum wage, with the consequential salary adjustments as approved by the Federal Government, and will not be deterred by cheap blackmail.”

Peterside admonished Wike and NLC not to heat up the state unnecessarily, and advised government to consider NLC’s complaints with an open mind.

He said: “It seems the NLC does have a case, and the only logical thing to do is to listen to them and not accuse them of being used by imaginary politicians. Perhaps, Wike has forgotten that the same workers declared their support for him during the election.

“There is no crime in calling NLC’s leadership to a meeting and resolve grey area.

“I also urge the NLC leadership to explore as many platforms as possible in trying to resolve grey areas. Anything short of this will have a telling effect on the state’s economy and productivity.”