The Executive Director of a human rights based nongovernmental organisation, Dr. KJ Nkum has lent support to the recent nationwide protest embarked upon by Nigerian workers union, the NLC.
According to him, the current slavery wage or starvation wage is grossly inadequate, considering the skyrocketing inflationary rates in the country.
In a statement made available to the media, Nkum expressed worry that 18 states are yet to pay the minimum wage years after the overdue wage bill was passed.
To make matters worse, the National Assembly is rushing to pass a new national minimum wage bill by transferring minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list, to the concurrent list.
The fear is that some recalcitrant governors have not even seen the need to pay the wage, and to give them the latitude to decide on issues of minimum wage will be
detrimental to the interest of the “public slaves” or civil servants.
N30,000 minimum cannot even take workers to the bus stop, let alone take them home. Giving a state governor to now decide or determine minimum wage according to his whims and caprices is further enslavement of Nigerians.
Issues of minimum wage is a global practice. Nigeria is signatory to the International Labour Convention, and cannot be found to be wanting in this regard.
Barrister Nkum therefore called on the National Assembly to jettison this new proposed bill. It also urged the state houses of assembly not to ratify the proposed bill.
According to the Founder of Kingsland Foundation , if this bill is allowed to sail through, the age-long struggle by organised labour for improved livelihood of the Nigerian worker would have been in vain.
He therefore lent his weight behind the current protest by the organised labour based on the fact that the controversial amended bill is anti-labour and could result in the likely violation of workers right to remuneration, contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Labour Laws.