The Nigeria Labor Congress has called on state councils and industrial union affiliates to be prepared for a showdown with any state government that attempts to reduce the national minimum wage.
The call is contained in a statement issued by NLC President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, in Abuja on Sunday.
The statement said the Chairman Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari, had insinuated plans by state governors to reduce the N18,000 national minimum wage.
It noted that Yari, who is also the governor of Zamfara, had said if there was no reduction in the national wage, the states would embark on massive retrenchment of workers.
The statement said, “Congress is convinced that Gov Yari is still holding on to his earlier argument.
“That due to the fall in the price of crude oil at the international market state governments are no longer in the position to pay the legal minimum wage to their workers.
“The Nigeria Labour Congress wishes to categorically affirm that the path our governors are headed can only lead to one outcome: a head-on collision with Nigerian workers and Nigerian people.”
It noted that the minimum wage was the minimum salary a worker was envisaged to earn to sustain himself and dependants over a daily or monthly period.
“In simple arithmetic terms, N18, 000 divided by six persons over 30 days amounts to N100 per day per person or N600 for the six persons per day.
“This amount is expected to feed six people daily while they have to find some amount from the same wage for accommodation, healthcare, transportation, education, among others,” the statement said.
It said the political elite did not find anything wrong in earning uniform wages and allowances across board irrespective of the state of natural endowments.