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NLC decries governors’ non-compliance with minimum wage structure

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The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero has expressed concerns about the lack of adherence to the proposed base pay structure by most governors serving on the 37-Member Tripartite Committee On Minimum Wage. 

Ajaero made these remarks on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

The committee, inaugurated by Vice President Kashim Shettima in Abuja, aims to establish a decent living wage in accordance with the expiring National Minimum Wage Act of 2019.

Ajaero emphasized, “Most of the governors in the minimum wage committee are those who are not paying minimum wage or paying them in breaches.” He noted the inadequate representation of governors fully complying with minimum wage standards.

The House of Representatives’ 2017 initiative to amend the National Minimum Wage Act led to the enactment of the Minimum Wage Act of 2019, signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Asked about states failing to implement the minimum wage, Ajaero cited examples: “A state like Zamfara, I don’t know how much Borno and Bauchi are paying. There is a minimum wage law which criminalizes the non-compliance… The Nigerian state has not tried to enforce these laws; others are just enforcing them in breaches.”

Ajaero also criticized the country’s dependence on the dollar for transactions, stating that the Federal Government has ignored the issue. Despite concerns, the NLC feels helpless as it is a government policy.

“We are worried about it but there is nothing we can do since the Nigerian government has chosen the dollar as a formal currency,” Ajaero lamented.

 

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