The National President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Com. Ayuba Wabba, has dismissed the opposition by some state governors to the proposed new minimum wage of N30,000 as mere ‘distraction’.
Wabba said the NLC was prepared to vote out any governor who refuses to obey the law after it is signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking yesterday in Ado Ekiti during the 75th birthday of the former Chairman of the Medical and Health Union of Nigeria (MHUN), Ekiti chapter, Com. Johnson Ogunseeyin, Wabba described the governors’ position as an afterthought.
He recalled that six governors were represented on the tripartite committee set up by the federal government to discuss the issue of minimum wage and that it took Labour over one year to arrive at a “midway wage of N30,000”.
“In case they don’t know, Labour started with a proposal of N66,000, so N30,000 was a midway approach to resolve the crisis. We didn’t just request for it, but we considered the high inflation rate, the poor purchasing power of the naira among other variables,” he said.
“While we commend about six governors for saying they will pay N30,000 minimum wage, we challenge those saying they can’t pay to go to their states and tell workers and pensioners that they won’t pay.
“The governors may not care about workers because they are getting humongous security votes. Councillors who have no certificates receive more than PhD holders. I want to believe this is a class contestation and we are up to the task.
“We want to tell the governors that we won’t succumb to their antics. We will receive nothing less than N30,000 minimum wage for our people and we have directed workers to vote out any state governor or his successor who says he is not ready to pay”.
Wabba said the celebrant, Comrade Ogunseeyin was one of the few patriots and unionists who fought for improved welfare for Nigerian workers.