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Govs playing politics with N18,000 minimum wage –Ngige

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MINISTER of Labour and Employment, Sena­tor Chris Ngige, has said state governors are merely playing politics with an al­leged inability to continue to pay N18,000 minimum wage.

He said this at a meeting with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja.

The minister blamed labour for heating up the system by joining the governors to talk about re­duction or increasing the minimum wage.

“When the NLC joined the governors in talking about minimum wage, with the governors saying we cannot pay N18,000 minimum wage and NLC says it is time for us to ask for increase, we now know that these talks are talks that are heating up the sys­tem. The NLC knows bet­ter that the governors are playing politics. This is one matter that you cannot play politics with because it is a matter of rule of law.

“The law in place now is the Minimum Wage Act enacted by the National Assembly and the Nation­al Assembly derived their powers from the Exclusive List of the constitution which gives them power to make laws on labour-related matters, including minimum wage.

“So, anybody who wants to talk about mini­mum wage should go to the National Assembly or ask the president to send an Executive Bill which can be discussed and it will be a tripartite discus­sion, with the convening of a public hearing.

“Please, let a sleep­ing dog lie, because this country is going through a very difficult time now and require your prayers and support. Nobody can reduce wages now. If any­thing, if you have more money, you pay higher,” the minister said.

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