The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has criticized 15 state governors, including Abia’s Alex Otti and Anambra’s Charles Soludo, for not implementing the N30,000 minimum wage established in 2019.

Chris Onyeka, NLC’s assistant general secretary, expressed frustration over the governors’ disregard for the Minimum Wage Act, accusing them of not respecting its significance.

In an interview on Monday in Abuja, Onyeka highlighted that while workers are eagerly awaiting a new minimum wage, 15 states have yet to comply with the 2019 wage law. This defiance persists despite increased state revenues following the removal of the fuel subsidy and the resulting economic hardships.

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The states that have not implemented the minimum wage are Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Gombe, Niger, Borno, Sokoto, Anambra, Imo, Benue, Taraba, and Zamfara.

Onyeka remarked, “A state governor who does not believe in the sanctity of the laws will have a high proclivity to disobey them. If you examine the history of some of these governors and their handlers, you will find a preponderance of those who came to power by breaking the laws. Is it now that they will obey the National Minimum Wage Act?”

He criticized the governors for viewing state resources as their own and being reluctant to share them with the workers who generate the wealth. “Some governors believe, erroneously, that workers’ salaries can wait or be toyed with without consequences,” Onyeka added. “However, they forget that workers are human beings who need their salaries to meet their basic needs of life.”

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Onyeka also pointed out the rampant fiscal indiscipline and personal greed among many governors, resulting in the diversion of state resources into private pockets.

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He emphasized the need to reduce the cost of governance at all levels and eliminate waste. Onyeka suggested measures such as reducing the number of political appointees, cutting down on logistics and operational vehicles, and aligning the salaries and allowances of elected officials with those of civil servants.

He urged governments to streamline procurement processes to ensure integrity, accountability, fiscal discipline, and transparency. “Governors should ensure budgetary fidelity, shun fund diversions and stop making provisions that allow for the looting of the states. They should stay more in their states instead of constantly being in Abuja, spending a lot of money maintaining two state houses,” Onyeka concluded.

(NAN)