The majority of the 37-member Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage Governors, according to Joe Ajaero, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), have failed to adhere to the suggested base pay structure.
In an ostensible effort to guarantee a livable income and to ensure conformity with the current National Minimum Income Act of 2019, which is set to expire in a few months, Vice President Kashim Shettima inaugurated the committee in Abuja earlier on Tuesday.
The majority of the governors serving on the minimum wage committee are either not paying their fair share or are in breach of their obligation to do so, according to Ajaero.
“Whatever motivated the federal government to appoint governors from states that are not fully compliant or have committed violations to constitute the majority of the minimum wage committee members will become clear in due course,” he stated, adding that the governors who are fully compliant with the wage standard are underrepresented.
Former President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Minimum Wage Act of 2019 into law after the House of Representatives moved to alter the National Minimum Wage Act in 2017 to require a review of workers’ compensation every five years.
When pressed for specific examples of states that have not enforced the minimum wage, Ajaero mentioned Zamfara and stated, “I don’t know how much Borno and Bauchi are paying; there is a minimum wage law that criminalises the non-compliance with the minimum wage.” Ajaero did not specify which states were in violation of the law.
Meanwhile, other countries are taking legal action against infractions of these rules, but the Nigerian government has made no effort to do so. Consider Anambra State as an example. The state of Anambra offers a minimum wage of N30,000. Even a permanent secretary can’t be making N170,000 or N180,000, he challenged anybody from Anambra.
Still bringing up economic issues, the NLC president claims the federal government is ignoring the country’s reliance on the dollar as a medium of exchange.
“The FG is doing nothing about the issue of the currency being dollarized.”
Since this is a federal policy, he added, the Labour Congress can do nothing to fix the problem.
He expressed concern but said that they were unable to stop the Nigerian government from using the dollar as a yardstick for all of their policies.