SPN Welcomes Planned Salary Increase for Lagos workers but Calls for Resistance against Anti-poor Policies of the APC Government
The Lagos State Chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) welcomes the planned salary increment announced by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu while addressing a gathering of workers during a visit to the office of State Head of Service on October 4.
According to news reports, Governor Sanwo-Olu disclosed that since September he had instructed, the “Head of Service (HoS), the Commissioner for Establishment, Training, and Pensions to work out modalities for salary increases for the entire over 100,000 public service workforce.”
However, we urge Lagos State workers, public sector unions as well as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), to follow up on the verbal pronouncement, as it could be an ordinary political talk for the purpose of securing workers support in the forthcoming general election. Indeed, we call on them to demand the involvement of Lagos state joint negotiation committee in working out the said modalities.
To us, an upward review in wages is long overdue not only in Lagos but nationally. Given the economic hardship, high inflation, and high prices of food stuff, fuel and electricity, ordinary working class families are at the receiving end. This is as a result of anti-poor capitalist policies, something only compounded by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian war on Ukraine.
Indeed that the Lagos state governor said he was “not going to wait for the Federal Government’s minimum wage increase confirms the fact that the current minimum wage, which is still not being implemented by some states is due for a national upward review.
Therefore, we reiterate our call on the NLC and TUC to begin to demand a new national minimum wage while at the same time fight for the full implementation of the current one by all the state governments. We also call on NLC and TUC to demand reversal of neo-liberal policies (privatization of power, deregulation of the oil sector etc.) and resist cuts in social service, education and healthcare underfunding etc.
However, we frown at the fact that the same Lagos government that wants to be seen as pro-people with the promise of increase in workers’ salaries is compounding the economic hardship being faced by the ordinary people in the state. For instance, it recently increased the monthly refuse disposal bill by 50 percent and hiked BRT fare. At the same time the state miscellaneous offence taskforce and its local governments criminally extort ordinary Lagosians on daily basis with obnoxious and outrageous and multiple fines and taxes.
Besides, there here are shortages of teachers in most schools. The Lagos State government should employ more teachers and rehabilitate dilapidated school buildings. .Also, the state government should pay many primary school pensioners who work as gatemen at most schools in Lagos State but have yet to receive their pension after four years of retirement.
Therefore, we call on Lagos state public workers and other ordinary people not to drop their guard because of the planned salary increase, which is possibly done in order to woo support for the APC in 2023 elections, but be prepared to resist all anti-poor policies of the APC governments in Lagos and at the federal level.
Chairperson, Lagos SPN
Secretary, Lagos SPN