The National leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has warned that it will embark on a nationwide strike, if the bill in the National Assembly seeking to move National Minimum Wage from the Exclusive list to concurrent list is passed in to law.
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, made the position of labour known, at the end of a virtual National Executive Council, NEC, congress held on Tuesday.
NLC, umbrella body for Nigerian workers, stated that the bill, which has passed first and second reading should not be passed, in to law, arguing that it violates the provisions of International Labour conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory.
“National Minimum Wage was a global standard adopted by the International Labour Organisation, ILO, through Convention 26 which was ratified by Nigeria on June 16, 1961”, Mr Ayuba Wabba said.
The Bill titled, “HB 950”, which was sponsored by Hon. Garba Datti representing, Sabon Gari Federal Constituency, Kaduna State, has passed the first and second reading, in February, House of Representatives.
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Labour lamented that while Nigerian workers are suffering in the hands of state governments over welfare, the National Assembly wants to compound it, b y moving National minimum wage to state government.
The National President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba in a statement further stated: “Any attempt to move the National Minimum Wage from Exclusive Legislative List to Concurrent Legislative List will make Nigeria a laughing stock in the comity of nations.
“NEC resolved that if the National Assembly give credence to a Bill seeking movement of the minimum wage from the Executive Legislative list, to Concurrent Legislative list, workers may embark on strike.
“The NEC submitted that the passage of the bill would occasion a further exacerbation of the institutional crisis in our country, constitute an existential threat to our democratic experience and greatly imperil the corporate existence of Nigeria.
“The NEC also reasoned that given the heterogeneous nature of Nigeria in terms of culture, religion, and ethnicity, it would be difficult if not impossible to manage the fallout from the decentralization of our judiciary.
The protest is to make a strong statement that Nigerian workers would not lie low and watch hard fought rights which are of global standards bastardized by opportunistic and narrow thinking politicians.
“The NEC resolved that the national protest action will be concurrently held in all the 36 states of the federation and to the different State Houses of Assembly across Nigeria”, Mr. Wabba stated.
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