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Minimum Wage: Govs that can’t pay should be honourably resign – NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has advised governors with no capacity to pay the N30,000 new minimum wage to resign honourably, threatening to mobilize for the impeachment of recalcitrant ones among them.

The threat was aired as labour leaders preparing for tomorrow in Abuja on strategies to negotiate consequential adjustment arising from the N30,000 minimum wage at the state level.

Recall that the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, had replied labour unions last week that their members could not be forced to accept the Federal Government’s position on the consequential adjustment which reached a consensus two weeks ago.

The NGF had argued that minimum wage consequential payments depended on the capacity of states to pay, based on Internal Generated Revenue, IGR.

Emma Ugboaja, NLC General Secretary, who was a special guest at the opening ceremony of the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the National Union of Chemical Rubber Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees, NUCFRLANMPE, in Sango Otta, Ogun State, said that it was illegal for any governor not to pay the new wage. He said the issue of new wage with the governors would not be based on master-servant relationship, he made it cleared that NLC would ensure that all governors paid the new wage and that no worker was shortchanged.

Recalling the agony workers passed through during the implementation of the outlawed minimum wage of N18, 000, the NLC scribe warned that labour would this time spare no governor that refuses to pay. He advised such a governor to resign honourably, saying labour would mobilise for his impeachment.‘Govs that won’t pay should be impeached’. Ugboaja said: “We can’t play the script of governors. It is criminal not to pay wages. Any governor who refuse to pay the new minimum wages should be impeached. Nigeria has fixed the new wage and they participated throughout the discussion, so there is no basis for any of them to now come up with excuses. Any governor that gives excuse, we will mobilise for his impeachment.”

The NLC General Secretary insisted that if a governor could still have fund for his extravagant
lifestyle, nothing should hinder him from providing for the workers who are doing the jobs that made it possible for him to live in affluence. “We challenged them; none of them can tell us that they are not flying private jets twice to
thrice a week. So, they can’t turn around to tell us that payment of N30,000 is a big issue.

We are really waiting to see a governor that will dare us by violating the law,” he said.

On implementation of the new minimum wage by the private sector, Ugboaja, said: “The challenge we have in managing minimum wage is government, not the private sector. You can recall that Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, backed us throughout the negotiation. We will definitely work with the unions in the private sector to ensure compliance.’’
He added that though most of the employers in the private sector were already paying the new wage, “one cannot rule out some exceptions, especially now that the law has reduced the number of staff an employer should have to pay the N30,000 minimum wage from 50 to 25.”

The Federal Government has already set December 31, 2019, as take off date for paymentof the new minimum wage, although President Muhammadu Buhari signed the bill into law on April 18, the date it took effect. Labour leaders meet tomorrow on adjustment. In lieu of this, labour leaders will be meeting tomorrow in Abuja to strategise on how to negotiate the consequential adjustment arising from the N30,000 new minimum wage at the state level.

Source: Vanguard News

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