Organised labour has threatened to resist any attempt by governors or lawmakers to remove the minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list of the 1999 Constitution.
President of the Senate, Senator David Mark was reported to have said that the removal of salaries and wages from the exclusive legislative list will be an agenda in the next phase of the amendment of the 1999 Constitution.
According to Mark, the planned amendment was to give the states the liberty to negotiate their wages and salaries.
Responding to the statement, President General of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Mr. Peter Esele, said the current move by state governors to amend the constitution was an invitation anarchy noting that "the minimum wage is the fulcrum that holds the society together".
Esele warned that the two labour centres in the country would not hesitate to mobilise Nigerian to protest any attempt by governors to muzzle and further impoverish workers.
"TUC notes the growing campaign amongst the governors to ensure that minimum wage is removed from the exclusive legislative list of the 1999 constitution. It resolves to resist all such attempts as the minimum wage is the fulcrum that holds the society together, otherwise there can be total anarchy. It further noted that not only should it remain a constitutional issue, it should remain in the exclusive legislative list.
"Nigerian workers will resist any further attempt by the lawless governors and their supporters who have failed to comply with the relevant laws of the land especially as it concerns the Minimum wage, to muzzle and impoverish Nigerian workers more by trying to implement these satanic intentions," Esele said.
He rather urged government to cut the cost governance and trim down the number of political appointees which he said constitute monumental drain on economic resources.
"TUC gives its blessing to the Alfa Belgore panel's observation that the cost of governance in Nigeria is too prohibitive and should be cut down drastically. In particular, it declares that there is no justification for the office of the First Lady, which has not been provided for by the constitution and yet gulps so much resources. Similarly it recommends drastic reduction in retinue of special advisers and special assistance by both the executives and the legislature at the state and federal levels as they constitute monumental drains on the economy," Esele added
On the looming food crisis in the country, Esele urged the policy makers to make conscious effort to return the nation to the basics and place agriculture in the list of priorities to save future generation.
"There is a looming food crisis in the nation and unless the federal Government takes urgent steps, acute shortage of food will soon join the litany of woes confronting the people. It condemns the present dependence on food importation in the country in the face of our national resources which we have failed to harness. We therefore call on the Policy makers to make conscious effort to return the nation to the basics and place agriculture in our list of priorities to save our future generation," he added.