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Our protests motivated by hunger, not minimum wage – NLC President

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Our protests motivated by hunger, not minimum wage – NLC President

NLC President, Joe Ajaero leading protesters

Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun

The President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Joe Ajaero has said the union decided to call Nigerians out for a two-day protest not because of the minimum wage, but because of the general hunger in the country.

Ajaero told journalists that the removal of the fuel subsidy has led to an astronomical rise in the prices of foodstuffs and other commodities in the country.

But he noted that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration has failed to respond to the challenge posed to the country by the removal of the subsidies.

According to him, the Tinubu administration has failed to implement measures suggested by labour to curb the fallout of the fuel subsidy removal.

The NLC leader said if the Federal Government has solved the problem of transportation after deregulation, the hunger challenge in the country would not have been so bad.

“There was hunger in the land, but it wasn’t this bad until deregulation. And then after the regulation, we proposed all that we needed to. If they had solved the problem of transportation immediately, they would have solved almost 50% of the problem.

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“Because even when you process garri in the village, you need to transport it to town. The expenses you incurred on transportation, you add it to the cost of garri.”

“So the moment they touch PMS, you can’t fill your tank with N30,000, N40,000. So the moment they touched it. We said, ‘OK, bring CNG buses. This is 7-8 months, no one bus is on the street,” the NLC PresidentOur said.

“So we have provided all those solutions, even the cash transfer. They are still telling us now that they will start the cash transfer and they were playing politics with it that they were diverting it to their accounts. After today, we review our situation and decide on other steps to be taken.”

Ajaero noted that according to an estimate by the United Nations, the poorest man in the country with a family of six may need about N700,000 to feed himself and his family in one month, hence, the minimum wage may not even take care of the hunger.

“The UN said that every the poorest man should be fed on $2 per day. That’s the poorest. And if you have a family of six people, $2 per day by six is $12,” he said while addressing the press in Abuja.

“In a month, you have $360 which translates to about N700,000. Is that the minimum wage you’re talking about? Is that what will feed you? That’s feeding alone. I’m not talking about transportation and accommodation. So what are we saying? What about medical? What are we saying?