Labour Condemns Gov. Over Minimum Wage

Labour Condemns Gov. Over Minimum Wage
Labour Condemns Gov. Over Minimum Wage

Organised Labour has strongly criticized governors who suggested that minimum wages should be determined based on each state’s financial capacity, insisting that national minimum wage standards must be uniformly applied across Nigeria.

The Southern Governors’ Forum proposed considering the living costs and economic capabilities of states during a meeting in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Representatives from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) condemned this approach as undemocratic and inconsistent with established national wage policies. They highlighted that political leaders receive uniform salaries nationwide, calling it a double standard.

The unions accused the governors of ignorance regarding global labour standards, despite their international travels.

“This double standard, which pits a few privileged against the majority poor, is an issue that should concern those who love this country. We are deeply concerned by this blatant display of ignorance regarding the global best practices for national minimum wage by some of these governors. It is evident that, despite their frequent travels abroad, they have deliberately chosen not to educate themselves on fundamental global issues crucial to successful governance,” the unions stated.

Labour spokesperson Benson Upah emphasized that fluctuating wages exacerbate poverty and insecurity, noting that workers’ salaries are vital to the economy.

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“It is unfortunate that workers’ salaries are often seen as charity rather than the hard-earned income of hardworking Nigerians. It is equally painful that some of these governors fail to realize that workers’ salaries substantially drive the economy. Not surprisingly, they prioritize their greed over the needs of ordinary citizens. The fate of Nigerian workers cannot be left solely in the hands of employers, whether public or private. No sane society does that,” he said.

Upah criticized governors for prioritizing personal gain over public welfare and urged President Bola Tinubu not to succumb to their pressures. He called for fairness in wage policies and warned against dictatorial actions, advocating for a national minimum wage that ensures economic justice and social stability.

He reaffirmed labour’s commitment to defending workers’ rights and urged governors to support equitable wage systems for the nation’s benefit.

“Nigerian workers should not be reduced to beggars! Enough is enough! Finally, NLC stands firm in its commitment to protecting the rights and welfare of Nigerian workers. We will continue to advocate for a fair and equitable wage system that reflects the true spirit of our nation’s values. We call on the governors to join us in this commitment for the benefit of all Nigerians. Let democracy flourish,” he concluded.

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