BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
LAGOS – AS Nigerian workers await the Presidential assent to the N18,000 new minimum wage following its passage into law by both Houses of the National Assembly, organised labour has warned that only governors who do not want to remain in office will refuse to implement the new wage.
Under the umbrella of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, Labour advised state governors who would not implement the N18,000 minimum wage once it became legal to resign or incur the wrath of workers in the states.
The association equally implored governorship candidates in next month’s polls to forgo their ambition if they would not pay the new wage when elected into office.
Leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, at their just concluded 10th national delegate conference in Abuja, juxtaposed the holding of the April polls to the implementation of the new wage, saying “No minimum wage, no elections.”
This was sequel to statement credited to Kwara State governor and Chairman of Governors Forum, Dr. Bukola Saraki, that many state governors would not be able to implement the new wage.
In fact, some state governors have argued that their states do not have the financial resources to implement the new minimum wage and called for a review of the revenue allocation in favour of the states to enable them to implement it.
Briefing journalists on the planned to construct a N2.3 billion ultra modern multi-purpose national secretariat office/shopping complex in Abuja, as part of its contribution towards economic growth and job creation, Secretary-General of ASCSN, Comrade Solomon Onaighinon, an affiliate of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, said in Lagos that workers were only waiting for President Goodluck Jonathan to sign the wage bill into law before taking on governors who refused to imlement the new wage.
According to Comrade Onaighinon, “we are waiting for the bill to be signed into law. Once this is done, those who want to be governors will pay; those who do not want to be governors will not pay,” adding that the law will be binding on every person occupying the office of governor to implement or get out.