THE Trade Union Congress (TUC) has declared that if the N30,000 national minimum wage scales through, a Nigeria worker would have to save his salary for three months to be able to pay for a Nigerian passport at N70,000.
This, according to the TUC is without feeding, rent, school fees and other utilities; adding that the anti-masses conspiracy would not work.
Describing as shocking the increase of Nigeria Passport fee to N70,000 by the Federal Government; the Congress said it was condemnable and insensitive.
In a statement titled: “TUC condemns N70,000 as Passport fee,” and signed by the TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama and its Secretary-General, Comd. Musa-Lawal Ozigi, the Congress stated that while the workers have been battling for a new N30,000 national minimum wage for over two years without success, the government has continued to add to their problems.
The Congress said: “We have received with shock the move by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to raise the price of new International passport to N70, 000 effective from March 4th 2019. This is condemnable and insensitive on the part of the agency.
“Sometimes one wonders where our privileged Nigerians think from. For over two years now we have been fighting for a new wage of N30, 000 without any meaningful breakthrough. The Council of State, who was never a part of the tripartite committee set up by the Federal Government pegged the new wage at N27, 000.
“By implication, if this anti-masses conspiracy is allowed to scale through it then means a civil servant would have to save his salary for three months to be able to pay for a passport. What about feeding, rent, school fees and other utilities? This will not work.”
The statement added: “We have not even received the new wage, yet government and its agencies are already devising numerous avenues to get the money back. Who knows what Customs, FRSC, FIRS, etc have in the offing? Most Nigerians who cannot get National Identify Card prefer to use the International Passport for transactions. Unfortunately, that opportunity is about to be scuttled because of greed and avarice.
“If the concern of government is to stop Nigerians from travelling, that may not work as they have failed to make the country habitable by creating jobs, infrastructure, good schools, healthcare, etc.”
The statement read further: “The Congress condemns in its entirety what the NIS has proposed, and may adopt any measure we consider right to ensure that the new International passport does not exceed N50, 000.”