A senior lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU), Faculty of Law, Gbenga Ojo, has warned the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC ) not to celebrate yet on the new minimum wage.
He said NLC did not consider strength of each state before agitating for uniform minimum wage across the country.
Ojo expressed doubts on ability of the states to pay the new minimum wage and added that some states were not economic viable.
“It is still borders on what I have been saying on true federalism. Can you ask Osun State to pay the same minimum wage with Lagos or Rivers? Can you ask Ekiti State to pay the same amount with Lagos, Cross River, Akwa Ibom or Rivers States? Federal Government allocation differs from state to state. The minimum wage should be appropriate to what a state receives from the Federal Government as allocation.
“For example, a state is paid N10 million and another paid N5 million, and you are telling the state that received less to pay the same salary with the state that received more? That doesn’t make any sense at all.
“I think Labour has to go back and look at it very well. That is why some governors are saying it can’t work unless the labour unions want to paralyse the states and use all the money to pay salaries.
“Labour should go back and bring in experts to advise them. Osun State labour should meet with the government and the government should be transparent on the amount it has, about what will go for health, education and capital projects and to make Labour see what is left. NLC, Osun chapter can then come to NLC Federal and say, in Osun, this is what the government can pay. Other states’ NLC should do the same. So, the national NLC can now fight for everybody according to the strength of each state, not that they will just sit down at Abuja and fix a figure without care to know if some states can pay it or not,” he said.