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Minimum Wage: Resign If You Can’t Pay, Labour Tackles Govs

BY: HighCelebritySquard Yes 

Organised Labour on Saturday tackled the state governors, accusing them of acting in bad faith towards the new minimum wage negotiations ongoing in the country.

Recall that the governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum rejected the proposed N60,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

In a statement issued on Friday by the Director of Media and Public Affairs for NGF, Halimah Ahmed, the governors said the proposed minimum wage was too high and not sustainable.

The governors said if the N60,000 minimum wage is adopted, many states would 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.

Speaking with Sunday PUNCH, Deputy National President of the Trade Union Congress, Tommy Etim, 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 for 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,” Etim said.

Describing the NGF statement as a recipe for industrial unrest, he said, “In this same country, the governors said that N30,000 was too much for governors to pay but it is in the same country that a governor emerged with over N80bn. 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.”

Also reacting in a statement signed by its Head of Public Affairs, Benson Upah, the Nigerian Labour Congress said, “We do believe the Governors have acted in bad faith. It is unheard of for such a statement to be issued to the world in the middle of an on-going negotiation. It is certainly in bad taste.

“As for the veracity of their claim, nothing can be further from the truth as FAAC allocations have since moved from N700bn to N1.2tn, making the governments extremely rich at the expense of the people.

“All that the governors need to do to be able to pay a reasonable national minimum wage (not even the N60,000) is cut on the high cost of governance, minimise corruption as well as prioritise the welfare of workers.”

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