The Federal Government has told workers that the transfer of the National Minimum Wage from the Exclusive to Concurrent list would not work.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, gave the hint at the 2021 May Day celebration, on Saturday in Abuja.

The theme of the May Day celebration is: “COVID-19, Social and Economic Crises; Challenges for Decent Work, Social Protection and Peoples Welfare”.

Mr Ngige said that the new minimum wage was a national law, which would not be manipulated by anyone.

“A tripartite clause arrangement which coordinated the government enacting the national minimum wage on April 18, 2019, and the President in signing the law, made it clear that the law takes effect on that day.

“That law is a national law, it is not that which you can choose for anybody that falls within the ambit of that law. It is not a question of pick and choose.

”We moved the national minimum wage from 18,000 per month to 30,000; it is an irreducible clause and we need a social protection mechanism.

“We therefore expect the states and people in the private sector to comply. Amendment of trying to expand that law or trying to bring the law into the concurrent list will not work,” he said.

Ayuba Wabba, the President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), had earlier said that any attempt to remove the national minimum wage from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List was a mischievous effort to foster crisis, chaos and anarchy in the country.

Mr Wabba said the national minimum wage served as social protection by providing a mimimum income floors to safeguard low earners.

”Our argument for the retention of the national minimum wage on the exclusive legislative list is to also propel the fact that the minimum wage is a tool for social inclusion and poverty reduction.

“For Nigerian workers, it has been a catalogue of workplace and trade union rights violations.

”First is the criminal refusal by some state governors to pay the new national minimum wage and consequential increase in salaries, thus violating workers’ rights.

“We have already directed all our state councils to down tool if any governor remains adamant about paying the new national minimum wage,” he said.

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