…Protests attempts to move minimum wage to concurrent list
By Ignatius Okorocha
Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on Wednesday stormed the National Assembly complex in their numbers protesting move by the apex legislature to transfer the national minimum wage from exclusive to concurrent list respectively.
Recall that the anger of the organized labour is fueled by a bill sponsored by Garba Datti, that seeks to move the minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list.
The bill in question has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives and referred to the House Committee on constitutional amendment.
The implication is that the state governments will determine the minimum wage to be paid to workers under their pay roll.
In his written petition to the leadership of the National Assembly, National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC),comrade Ayuba Wabba in company of leaders of other affiliate union’s said the proposed bill was anti labour laws and aganist the interest of Nigeria workers.
Wabba said the national minimium wage was not a Nigerian standard but an international standard , noting that 26 countries of the world have minimiun wage as part of their exclusive list including the United States of America.
He said the current national mininim wage was negotiated with all stakeholders including the state governments before it became Law .
He explained that the NLC would resist any move to deny Nigerians in the state and local governments payment of minimium wage
Responding, Deputy Chief Whip of Senate ,Sen.Sabi Abdulahi (APC Niger) who represented the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said the Senate would stand with Nigerian workers as it had always done.
He said it was not possible for any one to pass a bill that would affect the interest of Nigerian workers,given the practice of democracy in Nigeria.
Abdulahi said the senate was representing the interest of Nigerian workers and hence takes the payment of salaries of workers seriously.
He said the NLC had made their point by staging the protest, noting that the senate would stand by the workers to protect their rights and Previlages.
He said the senate would ensure that justice was done to the petition presented by NLC on the issue.
NLC members who besiged the National Assembly complex had some inscription like “Pay us our minimum wage”, autonomy to local government”, minimum wage payment would boost the economy among other inscriptions.”