NLC Counters Governors’ “Hypocritical” Stance on Minimum Wage

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has responded firmly to state governors advocating for the decentralization of salaries, labeling their proposal as hypocritical and contradictory to the centralized nature of their own salaries.

NLC President, Joe Ajaero, made this assertion during the 112th International Labour Conference in Geneva. He argued that if governors desire decentralized salaries for workers, they should first accept decentralized salaries for themselves from the Federal Government.

The governors’ proposal, aimed at allowing states to determine salaries based on their financial capabilities and economic realities, has been met with strong opposition from the NLC. The labor union fears that such a move could result in disparities in worker wages across the country and undermine national standards for worker welfare.

Ajaero emphasized, “Is it the source of payment? Is it coming from their purse? What are they saying, because minimum wage is like having a uniform law in the country? Are they now saying give us the right to run a kind of confederate system of government or permission to run a unitary system of government so that whatever we generate we spend it? Let them tell us, we will tell them how and where they can get money from their states. It’s not about waiting on the Federal Government to collect money.”

The Acting Director of Media Affairs and Public Relations of the Governor’s Forum, Halima Ahmed, had previously stated in a release that governors could not afford to pay a minimum wage of ₦60,000. She argued that implementing such a wage increase would exhaust many states’ monthly allocations from the Federation Account solely on paying workers’ salaries.


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