Labour Begins Indefinite Strike Monday Over Minimum Wage, Electricity Tariff Hike
NLC President, Joe Ajero and his TUC counterpart, Engr Festus Usifo and others during May Day celebration on Wednesday in Abuja

Minimum Wage: Labour Leaders Demand Resignation of Governors If They Can’t Pay

1 month ago
2 mins read

In a heated exchange on Saturday, Organised Labour has accused state governors of acting in bad faith regarding the ongoing minimum wage negotiations.

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) had recently rejected the proposed N60,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers, claiming it was unsustainable.

Halimah Ahmed, the Director of Media and Public Affairs for NGF, stated on Friday, “If the N60,000 minimum wage is adopted, many states would allocate their entire Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) funds to salaries, leaving no resources for development projects.”

In a swift response, the Organised Labour, represented by the Deputy National President of  Trade Union Congress, Tommy Etim, condemned the NGF’s stance.

Etim said, “There is no minimum wage. Every segment of it should be implemented. For the governors, we have said it very clearly. If you cannot pay minimum wage, please resign because you were voted for governance, not for only infrastructure.”

READ ALSO: Will Minimum Wage Increase Do More Harm Than Good?

Etim further criticised the governors’ priorities about the minimum wage, stating, “If you build the entire infrastructure and the people are not living to use it, who will use it? When they were campaigning, did they tell us that? They didn’t tell us that. They make use of the lo-income people to get to the top and when they get there, they start thinking outside the box. All the money they spent in electioneering campaigns, if they applied that to build infrastructure, to develop the revenue generation, that would have solved some socio-economic challenges in their domain.”

Describing the NGF’s statement as a recipe for industrial unrest, Etim highlighted, “In this same country, the governors said that N30,000 was too much for governors to pay but it is in the same country that a governor emerged with over N80bn. What an irony! We cannot jump processes. We will also look at it together. Labour will be meeting. We are giving Mr. President the benefit of the doubt to work the talk. The end will justify the means.”

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) also reacted strongly. In a statement signed by its Head of Public Affairs, Benson Upah, the NLC accused the governors of acting in bad faith on the minimum wage issue. “We do believe the governors have acted in bad faith. It is unheard of for such a statement to be issued to the world in the middle of an ongoing negotiation. It is certainly in bad taste,” Upah said.

He further questioned the governors’ claims, pointing out the increase in FAAC allocations. “As for the veracity of their claim, nothing can be further from the truth as FAAC allocations have since moved from N700 billion to N1.2 trillion, making the governments extremely rich at the expense of the people. All that the governors need to do to be able to pay a reasonable national minimum wage (not even the N60,000) is cut on the high cost of governance, minimise corruption as well as prioritise the welfare of workers.”

The clash between the governors and labour leaders over the minimum wage continues to escalate, with both sides firmly holding their ground. As the negotiations proceed, the tension highlights the broader challenges of balancing governance, infrastructure development, and worker welfare in Nigeria.

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Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

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