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NLC kicks against calls to decentralise minimum wage negotiations

He noted that some states in the country had not yet fully implemented the old ₦30,000 minimum wage despite the efforts put in place by NLC at the national and state levels.

NLC President, Joe Ajaero addressing workers on Wednesday, May 1 at the Eagle Square, Abuja. [Facebook]

Secretary of NLC in Oyo State, Adebayo Aribatise, in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Ibadan, said that decentralising minimum wage negotiations would put workers in some states at a disadvantage.

NAN reports that some politicians had, recently, called for decentralised minimum wage negotiations.

One of them, Dr Kayode Fayemi, stressed the need for allowing states to conduct wage negotiations with their labour unions, separate from that of the Federal Government.

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Fayemi, a former Governor of Ekiti, said that the position of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, of which he was once the chairman, was that states should be allowed to have negotiations with their labour unions, as ‘fingers are not equal’.

Explaining the broader implications of a centralised minimum wage, the former governor noted that only a small percentage of the population benefits directly from minimum wage negotiations.

However, Aribatise frowned at decentralising minimum wage negotiations, saying that it was not ideal for the country.

He noted that some states in the country had not yet fully implemented the old ₦30,000 minimum wage despite the efforts put in place by NLC at the national and state levels.

Besides, the labour leader said that some governors would abuse the privilege if they were allowed to negotiate minimum wage with their states’ workforce.

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“The fact remains that the law binds states to pay national minimum wage. It is expected that the federal government will continue to set the minimum wage. If not, some governors will continue to do as they like.

“Some governors will bastardise the agreement if we allow it and junior workers will continue to earn nothing worthwhile,” he said.

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