Governors have no constitutional right to hijack minimum wage negotiations – NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has described state governors’ interference in the national minimum wage negotiation as unconstitutional.

The head of information and public affairs for the NLC, Benson Upah, made the statement in an interview on Arise Television.

He said, “The process for arriving at a national minimum wage comprises three parties, which is labour, employers, and government. The government is currently playing a dual role of being the employer as well.

“Governors have been part of this process, and for some of them to want to pull out from the national team (under the government) will be injurious to the whole process and an act of treachery and betrayal because they know fully that they have been part of the government team. It is tripartite.

“They do not have the constitutional right to hijack it,” he said.

Upah explained that the major issue in the minimum wage negotiation with the government is “prioritisation and political will”.

He described the governors’ desire to take over the negotiation as “completely irrational”, warning that placing labour on the concurrent list could lead to a multiplication of laws, making it difficult for investors to navigate the legal landscape.

Upah also noted there could be potential socioeconomic consequences if states were allowed to set their own minimum wages.

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