Removing minimum wage from exclusive list, invitation to anarchy — Ebonyi NLC Chairman

The Nigerian Labour (NLC) in has advised the National Assembly to thread with caution over the bill to remove the minimum wage from the Exclusive Legislative list.

The state of the union, Mr Ikechukwu Nwafor, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakiliki on Monday.
Nwafor described the plot to move the minimum wage and other labour-related matters from the exclusive to the concurrent list as an invitation to anarchy.
He said the bill did not only target workers but Nigerian masses, hence the need for all to resist the unpopular plan by their elected representatives”.

“The March 10 protest rally across the federation is part of a well articulated plan to make public our stand on the issue.
“We have been using every labour means to drive home our position. The move cannot work. We will continue to resist it,” Nwafor said.
A lecturer at State University, Anthony Itumo, also described the move as an “affront to workers”.

Itumo, is the Head, Department of Political Science, therefore urged members of the national assembly to thread carefully over the matter.
He said that removing the minimum wage from the exclusive list, states were finding it difficult to implement the new wage, would further aggravate workers’ problem.
and heighten labour crisis in the country.
“In Nigeria, we have a set of laws that are in the exclusive and concurrent lists. times, the issue of wages has been a problem.

“Even the Federal Government ends up legislating upon it, implementation at the state level has always been a problem.
“If you remove the minimum wage and labour matters from the exclusive to the concurrent list, there is going to be a serious problem,” Itumo said in an interview with NAN.

He feared that of the state governors would water down the wage to the extent it would further weaken the purchasing power of the workers.
According to him, some governors still find it difficult to pay the current N30,000 minimum.
“Think of what will happen the governors are saddled with the responsibility to legislate on the workers wages.
“There will be a serious conflict and a lot of labour crises, which will result in endless strikes across the country,” Itumo said.

Also, a civil servant, Mr Chikaodiri Elom, told NAN that the push by the lawmakers to amend the minimum wage law amounted to gross abuse of their legislative powers.
Elom said that by embarking on such legislative activity, the parliamentarians had lost the confidence of the Nigerian workers.
He therefore urged them to have a rethink in the interest of the and workers.

He expressed concern that removing the minimum wage from the exclusive list would throw the country into needless labour unrest.

“The issue of insecurity and how to find a lasting solution to the blood-letting in the should be the focuss of the lawmakers and not amending the minimum wage law.
NAN reports that the bill to amend the law and other labour matters has scaled through the second reading in the House of Representatives. (NAN)