By Moses John
Nigeria Union of Local Government employees (NULGE), has described the recent resolution by the Governors’ Forum to discontinue the payment of N18, 000 minimum wages in their respective states as unconstitutional, anti-democracy and inhuman.
National President of the Union, Comrade Ibrahim Khalil, who holds the traditional title of Jarman Makaman Kano, said this in a statement in Abuja.
Khalil, who is also the President of the African Union of Local Government Employees said, NULGE in collaboration with all trade unions in the country under the auspices of the apex body, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) is ready to launch an attack on any move detrimental to the plight of workers in the country.
He said: “I want to use this medium to call on the Presidency, not to allow the governors’ unconstitutional body to rubbish its goodwill.
“For the current chairman of the governors forum, the Zamfara state Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, I am surprised that he has the heart to champion the reduction of the workers’ salary in the country even when he never implemented the N18,000 minimum wage across the board in his state.”
The NULGE boss who also triples as national treasurer of the NLC, described the governors as ill-informed on the issue, and their action a contravention of the subsisting agreement between labour and the three tiers of government.
Jarma similarly said the decision if implemented, would constitute great set-back to civil service at all levels and affect cash flow within the economy.
“For God sake, what is N18, 000 to a person in Nigeria? …What can it do to somebody for the 30 days?” the NULGE boss queried.
He said other African countries that are less endowed like Zimbabwe, Zambia and even Ghana have better minimum wage package, pointing out that an average worker in those countries receives not less than 200 dollars as the lowest minimum wage.
“If the above amount is converted into Naira, everybody will clearly see the difference.”
He cautioned the governors against any act that would ignite unnecessary chaos against the federal government that workers consider as people-friendly.