The national president of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, has described as diversionary, the position of some state governors who insist on not paying N30, 000 as the new minimum wage as demanded by Nigerian workers.
Wabba, who has made it clear that there is no going back on the amount agreed upon by the labour unions and the entire workforce across the country, said his members have resolved to vote out any governor who defies the law after it is signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Some of the state governors, after the report proposing N30,000 minimum wage was submitted to President Buhari, had made their position known that many of them did not have the financial capacity to pay such amount.
The NLC president spoke in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Saturday, at the 75th birthday ceremony of the former chairman of the Medical and Health Union of Nigeria (MHUN), Ekiti chapter, Johnson Ogunseeyin.
Wabba, who noted that six governors were represented on the tripartite committee set up by the federal government to argue the issue of minimum wage, said it took labour, over a year, to arrive at a midway wage of N30, 000 and it’s insensitive for governors to turn around and say they have no capacity to pay the said amount.
“In case they don’t know, labour started with a N66, 000 proposal. So N30, 000 was a midway approach to resolving the crisis. We didn’t just request for it, but considered the high inflation rate, the poor purchasing power of naira among other variables.
“While we commend six governors for agreeing to pay the wage, we challenge those saying they can’t pay to go to their states and tell workers and pensioners that they won’t pay.
“This agitation started last year in November, even though the review was supposed to be in 2016. The governors were asked to send a memorandum and 21 states complied.
‘‘They all had inputs. They even had six representatives on the negotiating committee, so I don’t know what they are talking about after the report had been submitted.
“In case the governors didn’t know, the police, DSS and Nigeria Army providing them with security, as well as the Nigerian populace, are involved in this minimum wage issue. So, we consider their refusal to comply as a way to divert our attention.’’
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