By Orji Sampson
Chief (Barr) Aloysius Osundu Osuji, a frontline governorship contender for Imo Douglas House, has expressed utmost shock over the June Press Statement by Dr. Chris Ngige, Nigerian Minister of Labour and Employment; that the new minimum wage could not be implemented in September 2018.
Aloysius Osuji , a Unionist and Human Rights Advocate decried the clandestine delay in the implementation of the new minimum wage , emphasizing that the expected increase in salaries was the difference between survival and extinction for the Nigerian workforce.
The governorship hopeful in a statement on Friday through his Media Consultant, Njoku Macdonald Obinna, queried the sudden change in the proposed implementation date, noting that Ngige had without any prompting, informed the world that the Federal Government would start paying the new wage in September.
The proactive and outspoken lawyer , Osuji , opined that the current volte face by the Minister of Labour is not only damming , but quite provocative and insensitive , especially in the face of the excruciating suffering being endured by thousands of Nigerian workers , particularly as occasioned by the increase in the cost of living .
Chief (Barr) Aloysius Osuji , a well groomed Nigerian worker before his study leave in the United Kingdom , questioned if the Minister was not once a civil servant who always looked forward to his monthly salary ?
He therefore, maintained that Nigerian workers who are not privileged to earn jumbo salaries, fat allowances and other perks of political appointments are looking forward to enjoying minimal relief in the form of the new national minimum wage.
Chief Aloysius described Ngige’s statement as a gaffe that was inconsistent with the fervour so far demonstrated by the three-man committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to review the national minimum wage.
Osuji said the Minister’s stance was at variance with the declaration made by the Vice President Yemi Osibanjo when he represented the President at an event to commemorate this year’s Workers’ Day in Abuja.
While appealing to Nigerians , especially , Imolites to embrace Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA) Party as an alternative political platform that will reform critical sectors of the country’s economy ; the International Constitution lawyer and Human Rights Advocate , Chief (Barr) Aloysius Osuji argued that the review of the minimum wage was long overdue ; noting that the 2011 Tripartite Committee headed by Justice Salihu Belgore , set up by government recommended amongst other considerations that the review of the minimum wage should happen every five years .
He insightfully informed that, “it is almost eight years that the last review of the national minimum wage took place ”. Nigerian workers demand a change in the humiliating culture of forcing workers to bargain too hard and wait too long for meager increases in their wages, a Constitutional right.
While shifting attention to Imo State, he decried the over 60% cut in workers’ salaries and pension arrears owed pensioners in the State.
He however, appeals to Imolites to have patience as this civil -slavery in the state shall soon be over as God prepares him for the task ahead.
He prophetically declared ‘Imo Douglas House’ vacant for a new occupant that shall govern the state with the fear of God; placing public welfare above self, he concluded.
Chief (Barr) Aloysius Osundu Osuji; is a governorship contender for Douglas House under MAJA Party.