By HENRY UMORU
GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, yesterday, urged the Organised Labour to resist any attempt to remove the present minimum wage structure from the Exclusive list, warning that it would lead to unrest in the country.
He also told labour leaders and members of Civil Society Organisations, CSOs that posterity would judge them if they allowed that to happen, adding that those proposing that decentralisation of National Minimum Wage would quell industrial crisis in the labour sector were wrong because issues and problems of workers cannot be resolved by abolishing the National Minimum wage.
Speaking yesterday at Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja as a guest of the Committee on Civil Society, Labour and Sports, Governor Oshiomhole, accused members of the Committee on Devolution of Power, which recommended that labour matters be expunged from the Exclusive legislative list and placed on the Concurrent list as being ignorant of the dynamics of the world of work.
The governor, who is the immediate past president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC noted that it was unfortunate that people misconstrue the fact that the Federal Government legislated on National Minimum Wage even when the federating states do not share equal resources from the federation account. He stressed that the minimum wage of N18,000 that the Federal Government offered to pay workers was a mere benchmark which was also binding on it not to renege on.
He continued: “The national minimum wage law has come to stay. It will be a shame to the labour movement if what we have won 34 years ago under an NPN government will be slowed to fritter away today. I am unable to understand why somebody will suggest that the problem in labour circles is caused by labour issues being on the exclusive list. There is a huge gap within the ruling class as they do not understand why we are witnessing the current level of strikes in the country.”