The warning was given by Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria on Wednesday.
The union alleged that since most of the Senators were “sponsored” by their state governors, it was likely they were pressurized into planning to deregulate wage so that states could pay paltry sums as salaries far less than the N18,000 monthly national minimum wage to their workers.
In a statement by the Secretary-General of ASCSN, Mr. Alade Lawal, the union argued that the move would be counter-productive to Nigerian workers.
Lawal said, “Such a plan, if carried out, will lead to anarchy in the industrial relation arena in the country and will negatively affect the democratic process and impoverish Nigerian workers and their dependants, as many state governors would want to pay as low as N5,000 as minimum wage. We urge the Senate to reverse itself on this matter and demonstrate for once that it is not only preoccupied with legislations that benefit its members.”
The association urged the legislators to embark on deep intellectual reflection before carrying out an amendment to the constitution or initiating new laws so as not to jeopardise the stability of the country.
Lawal, while recalling that a recent survey by the National Bureau of Statistics put the number of Nigerians living below the poverty level at about 112 million, advised the Senate to focus its attention more on how to alleviate poverty among the teeming voters “who put them in their privileged positions instead of being preoccupied with how to impoverish them more.”