Labor Protests as 20 States Refuse to Grant Workers Wage Award Amid Hardship

Addressing Workers’ Hardship: A State-by-State Overview

Eight months have passed since the Federal Government initiated the payment of a N35,000 wage award in addition to the existing N30,000 minimum wage for workers. Despite urging state governments to follow suit, a significant number of states have yet to implement this measure, leaving many workers grappling with economic challenges.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has voiced concern over the failure of some states to pay the wage award, citing it as a display of insensitivity towards the plight of workers. This delay has exacerbated the hardships faced by workers across various regions of the country.

Among the states that have not commenced payment are those from different parts of Nigeria, including the South-East, South-South, North-East, North-Central, and North-West regions. Additionally, several states that initially paid the wage awards briefly have since halted the payments, further exacerbating the situation.

However, there are bright spots where states have taken steps to alleviate workers’ hardships. States such as Lagos, Edo, Bayelsa, Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi, Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Kano, Kwara, Cross River, and Taraba have initiated payments to their workers, providing some relief.

President Bola Tinubu has appealed to state governors to prioritize the payment of wage awards, emphasizing the need to alleviate hardship among citizens. Despite this plea, many states are yet to take action, citing various reasons such as awaiting official declarations or ongoing negotiations.

Some states have demonstrated proactive measures to address the challenges faced by workers. For instance, in Kebbi State, a committee has been set up to determine a sustainable minimum wage. Similarly, Borno and Yobe states have distributed food and non-food items to alleviate economic hardship, despite not initiating wage awards.

In states where partial payments have been made, such as Niger and Katsina, there have been efforts to provide some level of relief, although more comprehensive measures are needed.

Overall, the delay in implementing wage awards underscores the need for greater prioritization of workers’ welfare by state governments. It is imperative for all stakeholders to work collaboratively to ensure that workers receive the support they need to navigate through these challenging times.

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