In April 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the national minimum wage bill into law. The president’s decision came after the national assembly passed the bill approving N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.
Speaking on the new law, Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on national assembly matters (senate), said it had become compulsory for all employers of labour in Nigeria to pay their workers minimum of N30,000.
Ayuba Wabba, NLC president, had also asked workers in the affected states to embark on strike, saying it is “disheartening” that amid the current economic situation, some states “still need persuasion” to pay workers the national minimum wage.
In an interview with TheCable on May 1, Wabba identified Cross River, Zamfara, Taraba and Abia as defaulting states, adding that the situation is “a gross violation of our constitution”.
Meanwhile, workers in other affected states have continued to push for implementation. TheCable, in this write-up, looks into the defaulting states.
While states in the south-south have largely been compliant, the NLC in Cross River recently embarked on a strike to protest the non-implementation of the minimum wage in full. Following the suspension of the strike, the NLC had threatened to down tools until the government honours its agreement with the body.
Speaking with TheCable, Ben Ukpebi, NLC chairman in the state, said the government implemented the N30,000 minimum wage for workers on levels one to six, but the consequential adjustment for levels seven and above was not properly done.
“It was agreed that in January 2021 it will be implemented, but up till date nothing has been done,” he added.
In January 2022, the labour body said it has “clearly observed that all doors to reach out to him have been shut down”.
Speaking on the development, a civil servant in the state told TheCable that the state has been transparent with the workers, adding that the government holds meetings with stakeholders from time to time to discuss the state’s revenue, debts and finances.
‘IT IS SHEER INJUSTICE’
On his part, Quadri Olaleye, Trade Union Congress (TUC) president, said states in the country are capable of fully implementing the new minimum wage “if only they are godly, prudent and have the interest of the workers at heart”. (TheCable)