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Sunday, 18 November 2018

MINIMUM WAGE: WE WON'T BE DISTRACTED BY GOVERNOR'S STUBBORNNESS, SAYS NLC PRESIDENT

The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC), Com. Ayuba Wabba, says, despite the opposition of some state governors to the proposed N30,000 minimum wage, workers across the Country are not ready to back down.

Wabba urged his members to be resolute to vote out any governor who defies the law after being signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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The governors, after the report proposing N30,000 minimum wage was submitted to Buhari , had made their position known that many of the states lack the financial capacity to pay the amount, saying the only condition they could meet the new wage bill was to prune the workforce. Wabba described the governor’s position as an afterthought and a worn-out and old trick. Wabba spoke in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday, during the 75th birthday of  a  former Chairman of the Medical and Health Union of Nigeria (MHUN), Ekiti chapter, Com. Johnson Ogunseeyin, The occasion was attended by all labour leaders in the state, led by the NLC Chairman, Coms. Ade Adesanmi and Blessing Oladele. The NLC President stated that six governors were represented on the tripartite committee composed by the Federal Government to argue the issue of minimum wage and that it took the labour over a year to arrive at a midway wage of N30,000, saying it was inhuman for governors to turn around and said they had no capacity to pay. “I consider this governors’ position as a trick that was not new to us. There was no agitation about labour that never experienced such, but we consider it an  afterthought”, he said. “In case they didn’t know, labour started with a proposal of N66,000, so N30,000 was a midway approach to resolve the crisis. We didn’t just request for it, but we considered the high inflation rate, the poor purchasing power of naira among other variables. “While we commend about six governors for saying they will pay N30,000 minimum 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 November, even when the review was supposed to take place in 2016. The governors were asked to send memoranda and 21 states complied. They all had inputs. They even had six representatives on the negotiating committee, so I didn’t know what they were talking about after the report had been submitted. “In case the governors didn’t  know, the police, DSS and Nigeria Army that were providing security for them and the Nigerian populace are involved in this minimum wage issue. So, we consider their refusal to comply as a way to divert  our attention. “The governors may not care about workers because they are getting humongous security votes. Councilor who has no certificates receive more than a PhD holder. I want to believe this is a class contestation and we are up to the task. “We want to tell the governors that we won’t succumb to their antics. We will receive nothing less than N30,000 minimum wage for our people and we have directed workers to vote out any state governor or his successor who says he is not ready to pay”.

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