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Most Governors In Review Committee Not Paying Minimum Wage — NLC President

The President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, has criticised the selection process of state governors drafted as members of the 37-member Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage, noting that most governors on the panel do not pay the current minimum wage.

Ajaero, speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday said, ”Most of the governors in the minimum wage committee are those who are not paying minimum wage or paying them in breaches.

”The governors who are in full compliance with the minimum wage are not adequately represented, so whatever made the Federal Government bring in those who are not compliant or compliant in breaches to form the bulk of the membership of the minimum wage committee from the state government, that will unfold with time.”

Earlier, Vice President Kashim Shettima had inaugurated the committee at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa Abuja, saying the decision was aimed at ensuring a decent living wage and in compliance with the existing National Minimum Wage Act of 2019 which will expire in a few months from now.

In his opening address, Shettima urged members to “speedily” arrive at a resolution and submit their reports early as the current N30,000 minimum wage expires at the end of March 2024.

In May 2017, the House of Representatives moved to amend the National Minimum Wage Act for a compulsory review of workers’ remuneration every five years.

The governors on the list are Mohammed Bago of Niger State representing the Nigeria Governors Forum, representing the North Central; Sen. Bala Mohammed, Governor of Bauchi State- representing the North East; Umar Radda of Katsina State, representing the North West; Prof. Charles Soludo of Anambra State, representing the South East; Ademola Adeleke of Osun State, from South West; and Otu Bassey of Cross River State who is representing the South-South.

When asked to name the states that have failed to implement the minimum wage, Ajaero said ”A state like Zamfara, I don’t know how much Borno and Bauchi are paying, there is a minimum wage law which criminalises the non-compliance of the minimum wage

”And the Nigerian state has not tried to enforce these laws, others are just enforcing them in breaches. Take Anambra State for instance, Anambra state pays N30,000 for the least paid. I challenge anybody from Anambra to prove that even a permanent secretary is earning up to N170,000 or N180,000.”

The NLC president also spoke on the country’s dependence on the dollar as its means of transaction.

”The issue of the dollarisation of the currency is clear and the FG is not doing anything about it,” he said.

He also revealed that the Labour Congress is helpless in solving the issue as this is a policy of the Federal Government

”We are worried about it but there is nothing we can do since the Nigerian government has chosen the dollar as a formal currency that will benchmark all they are doing.

“The issue of the dollarisation of the currency is clear and the FG is not doing anything about it…We are worried about it but there is nothing we can do since the Nigerian government has chosen the dollar as a formal currency that will benchmark all they are doing,” he said.

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