Minimum wage: Avert strike, MURIC warns FG

David Adenekan
David Adenekan
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Ishaq Akintola

A non-governmental organisation, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has called on the Federal Government to do everything possible to avert the indefinite strike threatened by the Nigeria Labour Congress over crisis arising from the new minimum wage.

It warned that a strike of the dimension threatened by the NLC would cause a major havoc to the country.

It would be recalled that Nigerian workers have threatened to embark on strike on November 6 if the government refused to adhere to the agreement to pay N30,000 as the minimum wage.

The amount, labour said, was agreed upon at the tripartite meeting over the new minimum wage, however, the government has been insisting on N24,000.

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But warning on the consequence of the strike, the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a statement issued on Monday said the strike could negatively affect the supply and distribution of petroleum products.

According to him, that would make life unbearable for all Nigerians.

He said the demand of the Nigerian workers was legitimate and government should do something about it.

His words:  “Unlike the fifth columnists who are behind artificial fuel scarcity, NLC’s demand for higher pay for Nigerian workers is genuine. A strike around this time is most likely to affect both the supply and distribution of petroleum products. This is why FG must do everything to avert a total strike. But we appeal to labour leaders to also consider the timing. A strike that runs into the yuletide period will touch the citizens’ soft spots.

“The concern of the Muslim Rights Concern is Nigeria’s majority Muslim population and the totality of the Nigerian citizenry. It is not any political party.”

Meanwhile, the organisation has also warned the government to be ready to apprehend and deal with those who might want to cause artificial fuel scarcity at this time of the year.

MURIC said artificial fuel scarcity had become an annual phenomenon which usually reared its head at the approach of the end of the year.

Said Akintola:  “November is fast approaching. This is the time enemies of the people usually start their nefarious activities…

“November is just three days away today and these agents of darkness must be somewhere now plotting to disrupt the smooth flow of supply and distribution. Their main objective is to discredit the government of the day particularly now that the 2019 election is just a stone’s throw away…

“Finally, we implore FG to marshal all necessary state apparatus to ensure that saboteurs are not allowed to cause artificial scarcity. We call on Nigerians to be watchful…

“We have a duty to expose saboteurs. We have a duty to support a government whose officials are not eating up our common wealth. We must support an administration which is using scarce resources to build a prosperous future for all of us.”

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