State governors should include the payment of the new national minimum wage in their 2019 Appropriation Bills, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has counselled.
Labour said doing so remained the only to avoid friction and crisis in the New Year, adding that the state governments are buoyant enough to pay the N30, 000 being demanded for workers as minimum wage.
NLC President Ayuba Wabba told The Nation on Sunday, December 16, 2018, in a chat that the minimum expectations from workers as the President presents the national budget “is for provisions to be made in the budget for the implementation of the minimum wage.”
Wabba, who recently became the first African and the first black man to be elected President of the International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC, described as unfortunate that workers continued to bear the brunt of economic hardship, with nobody fighting their cause whenever the economy improves.
He said that governors only say they cannot implement the minimum wage because of how they have handled the resources at their disposal, saying the issue has nothing to do with the availability of resources.
Wabba said: “Legally, the minimum wage due and the President has openly told the world that he is committed to it. Our minimum expectation is that the minimum wage be accommodated in the budget and for workers to actually begin to benefit from it.
“There is no two way about this because it is legitimately due. So, Nigerian workers should not be made to suffer the consequences of what they are not responsible for. When the economy is doing well, nobody bothers about workers. But when the economy is worse, the workers will be at the receiving end because in most cases, they are not paid.
“So, when the economy is doing well and when it is not, we have not actually received the desired attention. So, our expectation is that since everybody mutually agreed, the minimum wage should be a priority.”