March 16, 2021

We are aware of forces behind minimum wage bill — NLC

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it is aware of forces behind the bill seeking to transfer minimum wage from the exclusive list to concurrent list at the National Assembly.

Mr Ayuba Wabba, President, NLC said this at a meeting with the leadership of the House of Representatives on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ayuba said that should the bill would return Nigeria to the era of slavery if eventually passed.

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He said that Nigerian workers needed laws that were reasonable, adding that the minimum wage was part of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention.

According to him, the ILO reinforces this provision in its constitution such as convention 26 as ratified by 90 per cent of member country and convention 131 of 1970.

He said that Nigeria ratified the convention by adopting the monthly wage system, adding that once a convention was ratified, it became binding on members states.

He said that the excuse that some states could not afford the N30,000 minimum wage was not tenable.

“No one can negotiate below the N30,000, the ILO convention is binding on Nigeria as a sovereign state and not on subnational like states,” Wabba said.

Femi Gbajabiamila Speaker House of Representatives said the House had remained a labour friendly house, adding that the house had not been found wanting on anything concerning Nigerian workers.

A Bill for an Act to alter the constitution to transfer minimum wage prescription from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List passed second reading at the House on Feb. 23.