The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it will resist any House of Representatives’ attempts to move the national minimum wage to the Concurrent List.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Ayuba Wabba, gave the warning at the end of an emergency meeting of the congress’s National Executive Council (NEC) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Mr. Wabba said the NLC’s attention was drawn to a bill listed in the House of Representatives as HB 950.
He said the bill, sponsored by Garba Datti of Sabon Gari Federal Constituency, Kaduna, had passed the first and second reading in February.
He noted that the NEC considered Mr. Datti as only a hireling in the plot by his sponsors to disorient, injure, and exterminate Nigeria’s working class.
“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,” he said.
He added that the major reason behind the call to move the minimum wage to the concurrent list was to enable states to negotiate and fix their minimum wage.
According to him, the national minimum wage was a global standard adopted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) through Convention 26, which Nigeria ratified on June 16, 1961.
He, therefore, said Nigeria as a sovereign gave effect to the minimum wage by putting it in the Exclusive Legislative List.
The NLC boss said President Muhammadu Buhari should not allow fifth columnists masquerading as politicians to derail his government by railroading the legislature into removing the national minimum wage from the exclusive to the concurrent list.
In its totality, Mr. Wabba said NLC rejected a bill with the number HB. 1062 sponsored by Abbas Tajudeen representing Zaria Federal Constituency of Kaduna State.
The bill, he said, was seeking a constitutional amendment to allow for the establishment of judicial councils for states.
“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 decentralisation of our judiciary,” he said.