Nigeria: Minimum Wage - 25 States Fail Labour's December 31 Deadline
No fewer than 25 states of the federation have failed to meet the December 31, 2019, deadline given by organised labour to conclude all negotiations on the consequential adjustment arising from the N30,000 new minimum wage or face industrial unrest
Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, had on December 31, 2019, in its New Year Message, directed its state councils to start preparing for industrial protest against defaulting governors.
It said: "We use this medium to implore states that are yet to implement the new national minimum wage, including the states that are yet to begin negotiation with labour on the consequential wage adjustment to speedily do the needful.
In tandem with our position as adopted and communicated after a stakeholders' meeting on December 11, 2019, organised labour in Nigeria will not guarantee industrial harmony in states that fail to implement the new national minimum wage by December 31, 2019. We direct our state councils to be on the standby to robustly engage state governments that fail to obey our laws."
Vanguard checks revealed that only six states have begun implementation of the new wage, while five states have concluded negotiations with organised labour on consequential adjustment and agreed to commence implementation this month (January).
Meanwhile, four states are yet to set up committees for the negotiations of the consequential adjustment.
However, 21 states are still embroiled in negotiations on the consequential adjustment.
The states that have commenced implementation are Lagos, Kaduna, Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano and Adamawa, while the five states that agreed to commence implementation this month are Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Bauchi and Katsina.
Similarly, the 21 states at different stages of negotiations are Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Imo, Plateau, Zamfara, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Bornu, Sokoto, and Gombe, while those yet to commence negotiation are Yobe, Nasarawa, Taraba and Niger states.
It will be recalled that while the N30, 000 new national minimum wage was signed into law on April 18, 2019, by President Muhammadu Buhari, Organised Labour and the Federal Government agreed on the consequential adjustment on October 18, 2019, after protracted negotiations.
Following the perceived slow pace of most state governments in constituting negotiating committees for the consequential adjustment to pave way for the implementation of the new wage across the states, labour last month issued a December 31, 2019, deadline for the government to conclude negotiation on the consequential adjustment for face industrial unrest in the New Year.
The governors, who did not take the ultimatum lightly, had toward the end of December rejected the ultimatum by the leaders of NLC, and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, twice.