NLC spits fire, says no excuse for states not to pay minimum wage

Posted by News Express | 12 December 2019 | 1,360 times

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• Ayuba Wabba

There is no excuse for any state not to pay the N30,000 minimum wage signed into law in April by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigeria Labour Congress has said.

The NLC argued that all states are bound by the law to pay the N30, 000 minimum wage.

Its President Ayuba Wabba spoke on the issue during a one-day stakeholders’meeting on the implementation of the minimum wage at state levels in Abuja.

A December 31 deadline has been given to all state chapters of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council to conclude negotiations on the consequential adjustments as a result of the N30, 000 minimum wage.

Many state governors are yet to open discussion on the consequential adjustment, forcing the Secretary of the JPSNC, Alade Lawal, to say that states were avoiding minimum wage negotiation talks.

Wabba said: “All of us are aware that from the day the President (Muhammadu Buhari) signed the minimum wage Act into law, it became enforceable. It can be enforced through court of law and certainly there is no excuse for any government or any state to say that they are not going to respect a law that is actually base on the constitution.

 “The national minimum wage is actually a constitutional issue, so clearly it is about respecting our laws and also respecting international convention and procedures but importantly it is to respect the principles of tripartism, social dialogue in addressing industrial relation issues.

“We have gone beyond that level as I said. It is already a law; saying that you are not going to comply with an existing law that draws its strength from the Constitution is certainly out of place.

So where we are now is that we have three scenarios; we have states that have already implemented and are paying, we have states that are discussing implementation modalities and we have states that have not actually started any process.

“We are going to take stock of where we are by each state and we will also take a unified decision so that we drive the process together.”

The NLC president said that the meeting will afford the union leaders the opportunity to take stock of the progress made in their states.

He added that a unified decision would be taken at the end of the meeting as regard the minimum wage implementation.

Wabba said: “It’s a one day stakeholders meeting on the implementation of the N30, 000 minimum wage at the state level. You are all aware that the process has been completed at the national level including the issues of consequential adjustment and what is remaining is for the states and local government to implement.

“We have called a meeting of all the state council chairperson of the NLC as well as the JPSNC and also the Head of Services of selected states of the federation.

“It’s actually a social dialogue process that we want to take stock of where we are in every states and we will also be able to take some decision so that the implementation can be done seamlessly because we don’t want any worker to be left behind.

“We all go to the same market and certainly the economic challenges affects all category of workers and our expectation is that this meeting will be able to serve as a guide and also give them the necessary technical know-how to be able to go and drive this process effectively so that we can be able to conclude the process of implementing the national minimum wage at the state council level.” (The Nation)


Source: News Express

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