By Bashir Bello – Kano
The Organized Labour unions of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC in Kano State on Wednesday said the National Assembly’s move to remove Minimum wage from the exclusive to the concurrent legislative list if granted will serve as a licence to state Governors to drag and return the country back to the era of ridiculous slave wages.
The State NLC Chairman, Comrade Kabiru Ado Minjibir stated this when he led the Nigerian workers to the state house of assembly in compliance with to nationwide protest directive and to also seek the support of the lawmakers to kick against the move.
Comrade Minjibir while handing over the 3 pages letter containing the concerns of the Nigerian workers in Kano to the Speaker, Kano State House of Assembly, Engr. Ibrahim Chidari, said the Governor’s will abuse it and that which is capable of throwing the nation into industrial crises.
He described as retrogressive the mover of the bill, Garba Datti Muhammad representing Sabon Gari Federal Constituency of Kaduna State who on the floor of the assembly moved the private bill and allegedly sponsored by some few Governors for the transfer of the minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to concurrent legislative list.
According to him, “the transfer of the minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list has some implications which we highlighted in the letter.
“It will serve as a license for the State Governors to drag the country back to the era of ridiculous slave wages which in the past has frustrated multifarious industrial crises in a different part of the country. Because if the minimum wage is left under the armpits of state Governors, I believe, Mr. Speaker will agree with me that there will be an indefinite crisis in the whole country.
“It could also lead to exclusion of the private sector, both organized and unorganized from the concept, rational and logical of the national minimum wage, yet it is this informal sector that labour practices take place.
“Mr Speaker, if the anti-labor bill that seeks to make the nation standstill is presented to your assembly, we appeal to you to kindly refuse to assent to it.
“The protest will be the first instance in a line of industrial action to be undertaken by the labour to drive home our demand that the withdrawal of the new minimum wage from is a fight for our survival and livelihood of millions of Nigerian workers.
“Let me use this opportunity to lend our voice to call on the federal government to grant financial autonomy to the state house of Assemblies as promised by the present administration because this fight is not only for ourselves but also fighting for the state house of Assembly so that they would have autonomy.
“We also condemned and rejected in its entirety the move to decentralize Nigerian judiciary through the establishment of state judiciary council. This move is unpatriotic, subservient and an attempt to throw Nigeria into judicial and social chaos. This bill seeks to have a judicial council where state Governors will have federal judges at the state level,” Comrade Minjibir said.
Responding, the Speaker, Ibrahim Chidari assured the workers of their support to ensure that justice is done to the labour issues brought before the assembly.
Chidari commended the labour leaders for their approach to the government and the conduct of their affairs in the state.