The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has dismissed the threat by state governors to reduce their workforce if compelled to pay N30,000 as national minimum wage, saying it represented the position of a few anti-worker governors.
NLC president Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said in a statement yesterday that many worker-friendly governors are ready to pay even higher than the negotiated N30,000.
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) had said in a communiqué on Wednesday that states would go bankrupt if forced to pay the proposed N30,000 minimum wage, unless the revenue sharing formula is reviewed or workers downsized.
Wabba said NGF’s threat to sack workers is not new in the struggle for a new minimum wage in Nigeria, adding that the one by the NGF, led by Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari, cannot be used to intimidate labour.
He said the consequences of retrenching workers are too grievous for any political office holder truly elected by the people to contemplate.
He said, “We propose that since a few political office holders are bent on enslaving Nigerian workers with peanuts mislabeled as salaries, we urge such elected public officials to subject their humungous salaries and allowances, reputed to be among the highest in the world, pro rata with the minimum wage they want to force down the throats of Nigerian workers. We, therefore, urge each State Governor to go to their respective states and inform workers and their families their individual position on the new national minimum wage of N30,000.”
The NLC president directed workers to vote out any politician or political party that refuses to pay the new national minimum wage of N30,000.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to be wary of some people, especially in the governors’ forum, who pursue selfish and personal reasons, to present him as an anti-worker president and by extension orchestrate anti-Buhari sentiments in the populace.
“We also call on him to speedily present to the National Assembly the bill on the National Minimum Wage for appropriate amendment and implementation. Because the New National Minimum Wage of N30,000 was a product of intense and robust negotiations at the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Negotiation Committee that lasted for one year,” Wabba said.