By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
A coalition of Nigeria Youth Associations has condemned in strong terms a sponsored bill by the House of Representatives to give powers to state governments to decide the minimum wage for their civil servants and the local government workers.
The National Coordinator, Comrade Nuhu Sani Lere expressed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna.
According to him, the most unfortunate and disappointing bill sponsored by a member representing Sabon Gari Federal Constituency, Kaduna State, Alhaji Garba Datti Muhammad, clearly shows that he does not have the interest of public service workers at heart.
He lamented, “As a lawmaker, Alhaji Garba Datti Muhammad should have researched on the present situation of minimum wage in some states of the country before presenting this unwanted and antiworker bill to the chamber.
“Some states in the federation have refused to implement Eighteen thousand (18,000) minimum wage of Goodluck Jonathan’s administration not because they do not have the resources, but because of sheer wickedness and greed.
“Up to date, there are some states that are yet to come to a round table with workers representative (unions) not talk of its implemention.
“The thirty thousand Naira(N30,000) minimum wage introduced by the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is another case for Alhaji Garba Datti Muhammad to go and study.
“If you give the power to the national and the state assemblies to suggest minimum wage for their employees, definitely you are killing Nigerian workers because, their faith is in the hands of the state governments, who do not have the interest of the workers at heart.
“One unfortunate point raised by the lawmaker, Alhaji Garba Datti Muhammad was for the national and the states assemblies to have power to decide minimum wage of executive bodies, federal statutory corporations and administrative agencies and the states have the same power to do at their levels. When the salary of executive and legislature are still in the exclusive list, but want the workers salary to be in a concurrent list, why?”
The National Coordinator further argued that the proposed bill was on call at a time President Muhammadu Buhari is working towards harmonizing the salaries of civil servants in the country and looking at the high cost of living in the country.
The coalition called on the Senate President and the Speaker as well as all members of the National Assembly particularly their committees on salary and wages, to drop the bill in the interest of NIgerian workers.
Comrade Nuhu Sani Lerecalled on Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and all other affiliates to join hands with non governmental organisations to fight the bill in the interest of the civil servants of the country.
He also called on the federal, states and local government workers to rise to expectation and say no to this bill in the interest of their unborn children and to say no to the lawmaker who has clearly shown that he does not have the interest of public service workers at heart.