The stage appears to be set for a clash of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) with governors and lawmakers pushing the bill which seeks to remove the National Minimum Wage from the exclusive to the concurrent legislative list. The NLC leadership yesterday threatened to mobilise Nigerians against governors and some National Assembly members. NLC President Ayuba Wabba, who spoke with newsmen accused some members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum of sponsoring such an anti-workers’ legislation.
The bill which scaled through the first reading before the House
embarked on Easter recess, is set for second reading on the floor of the
House where members will debate on it.
Wabba, who kicked against fresh moves to “strangulate workers”, who
have been frustrated by the lingering socio-economic hardship, said
labour would explore every legitimate legal means to protect workers.
“We have done in the past and we are going to deplore it,” he said.
The Congress plans to mobilise its affiliates to campaign against all
political office holders linked with anti-workers’ legislations and
policies ahead of the 2018 and 2019 general elections.
Wabba said: “All over the world, minimum wage is on the exclusive
list. We are talking about protecting the most vulnerable group, that is
the principle and philosophy. It is an ILO core issue under decent work
agenda. It is a core ILO issue that all countries are conformed to.
“So, first is that it is the level of ignorance because he thinks
that it is only for the state. No. It is for the self-employed for those
that are from the private sector to protect the most vulnerable people
from being exploited from false labour and slavery. That is why minimum
wage law is there.
“It is a core ILO convention and in many countries of the world,
including capitalist economy. As capitalist as the United Stated (U.S.)
is, they have a minimum wage law.
“So, we must first understand the concept. It is not the state
government. It is all employers of labour generally, both private and
public. So, for public sector, who fixes their own? That is why it is a
tripartite issue. I think that there is a level of ignorance he has
demonstrated in this without even knowing what minimum wage law is all
“First, we condemn it in its entirety. We are going to respond
immediately and effectively. Two, let him also go back to the archives.
This issue was introduced even by some cabals within the Governors’
Forum at the last constitution amendment and it was defeated.
“It went to a referendum and it was defeated. So, we should start
from where we stopped and not to take us back to areas we have actually