HYPOCRISY: Ngige who fails to address workers endless strike threatens to sue governors over minimum wage

May 3, 2021
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The Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige has said he is consulting the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on legal actions to take on states that are negotiating the minimum wage with chapters of the labour unions.

Expressing displeasure, Ngige said he might be forced to sue the governors, commissioners and other top government officials in state where the approved National Minimum Wage is being breached.

The Minister while speaking on Sunday when he featured on the current affairs programme of Channels Television, Sunday Politics noted that workers under aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have called on state governors to implement the N30,000 minimum wage approved by the Federal Government.

Reacting to a question from the anchor on what his ministry was doing about non-payment by states, Ngige said, “Don’t worry. You will see what I will do. That is why I said go and read that law.”

The minister added, “This minimum wage is different from a CBA – Collective Bargaining Agreement. This is a national law that says what you will pay…that you will always pay employees – workers – in your establishment. State governments are employers. Private sector people – UAC, banks and the rest if them – are private employers. But all of them are in this basket. They are caught in the web of this law, until it is repealed.

“For today, any state government or employer that goes and renegotiate the minimum wage like some of them are doing; their (labour) unions, they are running afoul of the law.”

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