Labour To Governors: Resign If You Can’t Pay Minimum Wage

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Organised labour, consisting of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), condemned governors on Saturday over their recent stand on the new minimum wage in the country.

Recall that the governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum rejected the proposed ₦60,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The Director of Media and Public Affairs for NGF, Halimah Ahmed, noted in a statement released on Friday that the governors said the proposed minimum wage was too high and unsustainable.

The governors said if the ₦60,000 minimum wage is adopted, many states will allocate their entire Federal Account Allocation Committee funds to salaries, leaving no resources for development projects.

However, reacting on Saturday, the Organised Labour faulted the NGF’s position, saying every part of the new minimum wage agreement should be implemented and any of the state governors who can’t pay it should resign.

In an interview with Punch, Tommy Etim, the Deputy National President of the Trade Union Congress, said, “There is no minimum wage. Every segment of it should be implemented. For the governors, we have said it very clearly. If you cannot pay minimum wage, please resign because you were voted for governance, not only infrastructure.

“If you build the entire infrastructure and the people are not living to use it, who will use it? When they were campaigning did they tell us that? They didn’t tell us that. They make use of the poor to get to the top and when they get there, they start thinking outside the box. All the money they spent in electioneering campaigns, if they applied that to build infrastructure, to develop the revenue generation that would have solved some socio-economic challenges in their domain.”

Describing the NGF statement as a recipe for industrial unrest, he said, “In this same country, the governors said that ₦30,000 was too much for governors to pay but it is in the same country that a governor emerged with over ₦80bn. What an irony! We cannot jump processes. We will also look at it together. Labour will be meeting. We are giving Mr President the benefit of the doubt to work the talk. The end will justify the means.”

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