‘Decentralisation of Minimum Wage Not in Contravention of ILO’s Convention’

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Salihu Lukman

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The Director General of Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Dr. Salihu Lukman, has said that moving the minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list was not in contravention of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention as claimed by leadership of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).

The labour movement had on Wednesday during its one-day nationwide protest argued that the National Minimum Wage as embedded in the constitution was an internationally recognised standard which had the endorsement of the United Nations, through its agency, International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The labour union also said that the planned decentralisation of the minimum wage structure was a declaration of war on the Nigerian workers.

But Lukman in a statement issued yesterday said the earlier the NLC leadership retraced its steps and return to the path of truth and democratic engagement to win the support of Nigerians, including elected representatives, the better.
He stressed that political bullying was antithetical to democracy and was counter-productive to the struggles for a decent wage.

Lukman stated: “While it is true that ILO Convention No. 30 of 1928 Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery Recommendation provides the guiding principles for the determination of minimum wages in all countries, nowhere was it stipulated that the process should be the exclusive preserve of federal authorities. Anyone interested can confirm the details
“If anything, the Convention allows for flexibility for each country to apply the guiding principles to its circumstances through consultative processes that take into consideration all the interests in the country’s labour market.”

The director general stressed that nowhere in the Convention was it provided that minimum wage-fixing was the exclusive responsibility of federal authorities. Lukman added: “It is important that all these distortions are corrected.
Our democracy must be insulated from distortions and falsehood. The struggles of Nigerian workers for a just and better Nigeria should not be oriented based on falsehood and distortions.”