From Olanrewaju Lawal,Birnin Kebbi
The organized Labour in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States under the umbrella of the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) have insisted that the national minimum wage must be remained in the exclusive list while local governments, judiciary and legislatives arms of government must be given full autonomy.
They made this submission during the zonal public hearing for the review of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the House of Representatives, which comprises Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states stakeholders held in Birnin Kebbi.
While presenting their submissions on wage, autonomy for Local government, legislative, Judiciary, pension and industrial relations, Dr. Yusha’u argued that, Nigeria has been a member of the International Labour Organization since October 17,1960 and had domesticated it through National Assembly 26 International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions including eight of its fundamental conventions.
He noted that, any contemplation to remove the national minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list would only expose Nigeria to international ridicule and opprobrium.
“It would, therefore, be anomalous, incongruous and contemptible of global standards and order to even contemplate removing labour from the exclusive Legislative list. That would be tantamount to renouncing Nigeria’s ratification of extant ILO Conventions and repudiating Nigeria’s membership of the ILO, we are sure such is not the agenda of this noble engagement”.
In their prayers, the organized labour stated that ; “that the National Assembly should retain labour, the national minimum wage on the exclusive legislative as currently listed under the second schedule part 1(34) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and also retain the general administration of pension as currently captured in section 173 of the 1999 Constitution and as listed under the second schedule part 1(34) of the constitution.
“That the National Assembly should favourably consider our demands for the full realization of local government autonomy, legislative autonomy and autonomy for the judiciary arm of government.
“The National Assembly should consider our submissions on strengthening and promoting socio-economic and cultural rights of Nigerians especially as captured under Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution under review”.
The labour argued that, the attempt to remove labour and the national minimum wage from the exclusive to the concurrent legislative list was borne out of the desire by a few state Governors to trample on the rights of workers and pay them slave wages.