The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has raised an alarm on what it described as plans by the National Assembly to remove the national minimum wage law from the exclusive to the concurrent legislative list.
The Bill which it said has passed first and second reading, is sponsored by Hon. Garba Datti-Mohammed of Sabon Gari Federal Constituency, Kaduna state and seeks to make it possible for all the states in the federation to fix their own minimum wage.
Rising from an emergency National Executive Council meeting in Abuja, the NLC President Comrade Ayuba Wabba said NEC had decided to stage a National protest across the 36 states, especially at the National Assembly to express displeasure over the development towards the bill.
Ayuba said that the current battle to remove the National Minimum wage from the Exclusive list to the Concurrent legislative list is described by NEC as an attempt to negate the struggle and fight by Nigerian workers to get the National Minimum Wage passed as an Act of Parliament forty years ago.
He said that NEC also frowned and condemned in strong terms the current hoarding and ensuing artificial scarcity of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol, in fuel stations in major cities of Nigeria.
The Organised labour also vowed to picket petroleum stations across the country found to inflict pains on Nigerians through hoarding of the premium motor spirit.
On Removal Of National Minimum wage from Exclusive To Concurrent Legislative List Ayuba said “that the National Minimum wage is a global standard adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) through Convention 26 which was ratified by Nigeria on June 16, 1961. The ratification of this very important convention by Nigeria was given statutory effect by the signing into law of the National Minimum Wage Act by the President Shehu Shagari government in May 1981”.
On fuel hoarding he said “The NEC noted that the current trend of petroleum products hoarding and the resultant artificial scarcity imposes great hardship and suffering on the already traumatized Nigerian workforce and people who are being punishing and further impoverished in order to satisfy the greed of a few marketers of refined petroleum products”.