Staff members of the Public Complaints Commission on Wednesday staged a protest over the non-implementation of the national minimum wage and 17 months arrears owed by the Federal Government.
The protest was orgainsed by the Joint Union of Public Complaints Commission Chapter in Abuja.
The Joint Union of Public Complaints Commission is made up of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria and the Nigeria Civil Service Union.
The protesters carried placards with inscriptions like, “Mr President, what is the crime of Public Compliant Commission’’; “We are tired of underpayment’’, “We’re yet to receive our minimum wage’’, among others.
Oga Folorunsho, Chairman, Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU) speaking during the protest, said that the non-implementation of the minimum wage had become worrisome.
“We are not slaves; the protest is all about the non implementation of minimum wage and the underfunding of the Public Compliant Commission.
“The Minimum Wage Act was signed into law in April 18, 2019, which almost all the federal agencies have started implementing from November, but for the workers in this agency, up till this moment, nothing of such.
“From the beginning of this year, we have been working with our management on the issue of minimum wage, all efforts failed.
“As a union, we decided that since we have tried our best and the management had also tried, we do not know where the problem is, we decided to engage the government, ‘’he said.
Folorunsho noted that as labour leaders in the commission, the union strictly followed the rules and regulations guiding labour matters in handling workers’ issues in the commission.
He also noted that before the protest, the union sent a letter to the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning on the 21-day ultimatum notice.
The union leader also noted that another 14-day ultimatum notice was issued and then followed by a seven-day notice.
He said, ”We did not receive any response. We want to know who owes our finances, we want to know who is sitting on our minimum wage implementation. We also want to know who is sitting on our approved budget for 2018 that was not released in full.
“We also want to know why we have been ignored; those are the major reasons why we shut down this office.
“We also understand that the body responsible for finance as a nation is the Minister of Finance; that is why we directed our issues to her.
“We have directed these issues for almost nine months to the minister, we are only asking for our right and not a privilege, ‘’he added.
He explained that since the onset of the implantation of the minimum wage, workers in the commission had been earning percentage as salary.
He however, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the issues affecting the commission and its workers.
Also Margaret Ibeku, Chapter Chairman, Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, said that the major problem of the commission was under-funding which has affected the organisation.
“That is why we staged this protest to draw the attention of the Presidency and the National Assembly to the issues.
“We were receiving 50 per cent of salaries and this went on for almost a year, and every effort to sort the issue yielded no result,” she added.
Also speaking, Isa Degri, Vice Chairman, Nigeria Civil Service Union, Federal Council said that the protest was to draw the attention of the government to the plight of workers in the commission.
“It will surprise you to know that these workers are yet to receive the new national minimum wage implementation,” he said.