June 24, 2024

House of Representatives Criticizes Labour Unions Over Misinformation on Lawmakers’ Earnings



The House of Representatives has criticized the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) for disseminating what it described as “false information” regarding the earnings of lawmakers. This accusation comes amidst a backdrop of industrial action by the unions, which have been advocating for a new national minimum wage.


In a statement signed by the House spokesperson, Akin Rotimi, the House expressed concern that the unions’ actions could incite public resentment against lawmakers and damage the credibility of the legislature. The statement emphasized the need for those undermining the nation’s economy to be held accountable.


“The House of Representatives acknowledges the recent industrial action undertaken by the NLC and the TUC due to the breakdown in negotiations for a new national minimum wage,” the statement read. It noted with satisfaction that the strike had been suspended for one week to allow further negotiations, underscoring the House’s commitment to engaging all stakeholders in resolving the issue.


House Speaker Abbas Tajudeen has been a vocal advocate for a living wage and better working conditions for workers. He has highlighted the importance of addressing national priorities such as the economy and security through legislative measures. While supporting the call for improved wages, the House warned against setting the minimum wage beyond what the economy can sustain, citing potential negative consequences of inflation and layoffs.


The House also condemned the shutdown of critical infrastructure, such as the national grid and airports, during the strike. It described these actions as economic sabotage and called for accountability. “The shutdown of critical infrastructure constitutes economic sabotage and is detrimental to the well-being of our country. Those responsible must be held accountable,” the statement asserted.


Additionally, the House criticized the union leadership for contributing to misinformation about lawmakers’ remuneration. “Organized Labour has, for years, propagated false narratives about the earnings of National Assembly members, exaggerating figures to stoke public resentment and undermine the credibility of the Legislature,” the statement continued. The House urged for honest and transparent dialogue, stressing that spreading inaccuracies for political leverage diverts attention from core issues.


The House reaffirmed its stance on the side of Nigerians, vowing to act in the best interest of its constituents. It called on the union leadership to return to the negotiation table and engage in good faith to achieve a balanced and sustainable outcome.


The NLC and TUC had initiated a nationwide strike to push for a new national minimum wage, which was suspended for one week after reaching a preliminary agreement with the Federal Government to increase the wage above N60,000.

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