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Minimum wage You cant dictate what to pay NLC replies Govs

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has reacted to the proposal by the Southern Governors Forum that states should determine the minimum wage in their domains.

The Southern Governos had met in Abeokuta, Ogun state during the week where deliberations on the new minimum wage was had.

In a communique they released after their meeting, the governors proposed that each state should be made to determine their minimum wage.

‘’“The Forum discussed the minimum wage issues demanded by labour and unanimously agreed that the minimum wage should be reflective of the cost of living and ability to pay, and each State be allowed to negotiate their minimum wage,” the governors said in a communique

Reacting to the proposal, the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC in a statement released by its Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, said the proposal smacks of dictatorship.

“This notion is not only dictatorial but also undermines the very essence as well as the model adopted for creating a national minimum wage in Nigeria. But the NLC has faulted the governors’ move, saying it “threatens the welfare of Nigerian workers and the national economy.

The concept of a national minimum wage is not arbitrary. It represents a national wage floor, a baseline below which no worker in the law should be paid. This threshold is a collective agreement that ensures a minimum standard of living for every worker in the law. The governors’ demand to unilaterally determine the minimum wage negates this principle and threatens the welfare of Nigerian workers and the national economy.

It is important to remind the governors that the national minimum wage is not synonymous with the individual pay structures of the states which they implement religiously, reflecting their unique financial capabilities and circumstances. This diversity in pay structures underscores the flexibility that already exists within the system, allowing states to reward their workers in alignment with their financial realities.”

Why is there no hue and cry when political office holders across the nation receive uniform salaries as determined by Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation, and Fiscal Commission?” the statement asked.

This double standard which piths a few privileged against the majority poor is an issue that should be of concern to those who love this country.” the statement read

Labour unions, the government, and the private sector have been locked in negotiations over a new minimum wage for months. The tripartite committee on the new minimum wage had proposed N62,000 as a new minimum wage while organised labour insists on N265,000.

President Bola Tinubu later received the report of the committee, promising to pay what the country can afford. He is still consulting with stakeholders after which a bill to enact a new minimum wage will be sent to the National Assembly.

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