Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo governors refused to implement N30,000 minimum wage – NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress on Monday accused 15 governors, including Abia’s Alex Otti and Anambra’s Charles Soludo, of refusing to implement the N30,000 minimum wage enacted in 2019.

Specifically, Chris Onyeka, NLC’s assistant general secretary, slammed the country’s governors for flouting the Minimum Wage Act because they do not believe in its sanctity.

Onyeka said this in Abuja in an interview on minimum wage law and its implementation, pointing out that while workers anxiously await the passage of a new minimum wage, 15 states have yet to implement the N30,000 wage enacted in 2019.

Even with the increased revenue accruable to states after the fuel subsidy removal and the attendant hardship brought about by the hike in pump prices, the states remain recalcitrant about paying their workers the minimum wage.

The states yet to implement the minimum wage, in defiant of the 2019 Act, are Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Gombe, Niger, Borno, Sokoto, Anambra, Imo, Benue, Taraba and Zamfara.

Onyeka said, “A state governor who does not believe in the sanctity of the laws will have a high proclivity to disobey them. If you examine the history of some of these governors and their handlers, you will find a preponderance of those who came to power by breaking the laws.
“Is it now that they will obey the National Minimum Wage Act?”

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The labour leader said many governors were unwilling to pay civil servants their salaries because they saw the state resources as theirs and were unwilling to share with the workers who created the wealth.

He added, “Some governors believe, erroneously, that workers’ salaries can wait or be toyed with without consequences, so they do not place priority on it. However, they forget that workers are human beings who need their salaries to meet their basic needs of life.”

Onyeka also mentioned that fiscal indiscipline in many states is legendary, adding that the personal greed of some governors resulted in their appropriating state resources into their private pockets.

The labour leader reiterated the need to cut the cost of governance at all levels and end wastage. He identified the measures, including reducing the number of political appointees to reduce overhead and the number of logistics, official, and operational vehicles.

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According to Onyeka, the salaries and allowances of elected and appointed officials of the three arms of government should be in sync with what is receivable by civil servants.

He said governments at all levels should streamline procurement processes to ensure integrity, accountability, fiscal discipline, and transparency.

“Governors should ensure budgetary fidelity, shun fund diversions and stop making provisions that allow for the looting of the states. They should stay more in their states instead of constantly being in Abuja, spending a lot of money maintaining two state houses,” the NLC chieftain said.

With NAN report

 

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