Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has directed its state chapters to go on strike if any state government fails to implement the N30,000 new national minimum wage.
NLC President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, said the organised labour had given each state council the template on the new wage and the consequential adjustment.
He stressed that no state should be excused for not implementing the new minimum wage.
“The Minimum Wage Act is already a law and every political office holder must respect the sanctity of our Constitution and the oaths of office they have sworn to uphold.
“If a worker is entitled to be paid his wages, the wages must be commensurate with what has been negotiated. In 90 per cent of the countries around the world, the minimum wage law is implemented and observed. So, we cannot be an exception.
“While appreciating those states and, even the federal government, that have paid all the workers under its employment, including arrears which have set the base and standard for states to follow, there is no excuse for any state not to pay workers a minimum wage that has been negotiated because 85 per cent of the Value Added Tax (VAT) increase goes to the states.
“We have empowered our state councils. Once they reach a situation where they think there is no commitment, we have given them the power to declare an action and withdraw their services.”
“Many states have done that. In Ogun and Niger states, they did that before they were invited to the table. We don’t need to take any decision again to say that you need to do what you need to do.
“Once the state executive council feels that there is dilly-dallying on the minimum wage, which is already a law, they should be able to enforce their own right. We will support them.”
“Where they need reinforcements from the headquarters, we will be there to support them.”