Labour to Govs: Implement Minimum Wage or Resign

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On Saturday, Organised Labour issued a stern warning to state governors, accusing them of negotiating the new minimum wage in bad faith.

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) recently rejected the proposed N60,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

Halimah Ahmed, the Director of Media and Public Affairs for NGF, stated on Friday that the proposed minimum wage was excessively high and unsustainable.

According to the governors, adopting the N60,000 minimum wage would force many states to allocate their entire Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) funds to salaries, leaving no resources for development projects.

In response, Organised Labour criticised the NGF’s stance, insisting that the new minimum wage agreement be fully implemented.

They demanded that any governor unable to pay the wage should resign.

Tommy Etim, Deputy National President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), declared, “Every segment of the minimum wage should be implemented.

“For the governors, we have said it very clearly: If you cannot pay the minimum wage, please resign because you were elected for governance, not just infrastructure.”

Etim continued, “If you build all the infrastructure but the people are not alive to use it, who will benefit? When they were campaigning, they didn’t mention this.

“They used the poor to get to the top, and once there, they start thinking outside the box. All the money spent on election campaigns could have been used to build infrastructure and develop revenue generation, solving socio-economic challenges.”

Etim described the NGF’s statement as a recipe for industrial unrest.

He said, “In this same country, governors said that N30,000 was too much to pay, yet a governor emerged with over N80 billion.

What an irony! We cannot bypass processes. Labour will be meeting. We are giving Mr. President the benefit of the doubt to act on his promises. The end will justify the means.”

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) also condemned the governors’ stance.

In a statement signed by its Head of Public Affairs, Benson Upah, the NLC criticised the governors, saying, “The governors have acted in bad faith. Issuing such a statement in the middle of ongoing negotiations is in bad taste.”

Regarding the governors’ claims, the NLC noted, “FAAC allocations have increased from N700 billion to N1.2 trillion, making the governments extremely wealthy at the expense of the people.

To pay a reasonable national minimum wage, all the governors need to do is cut the high cost of governance, minimise corruption, and prioritise the welfare of workers.”
Lami Victor | KADUNA

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