Chris Onyeka, Assistant General-Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has stated that numerous state governors are violating the Minimum Wage Act because they do not respect the law.

Onyeka made this assertion during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, discussing the challenges surrounding the implementation of the minimum wage law.

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Despite workers’ anticipation for a new minimum wage, Onyeka noted that 15 states have yet to implement the N30,000 minimum wage enacted in 2019.

These states include Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Gombe, Niger, Borno, Sokoto, Anambra, Imo, Benue, Taraba, and Zamfara.

Onyeka criticized the governors for their reluctance to comply with the law, stating, “A state Governor who does not believe in the sanctity of the laws will have a high proclivity to disobeying them.

If you examine the history of some of these governors and their handlers, you will find a preponderance of those who came to power by breaking the laws. Is it now that they will obey the national minimum wage act?”

He argued that many governors view state resources as their personal property and are unwilling to share them with the workers who generate the wealth.

Onyeka emphasized that this attitude is detrimental, as workers rely on their salaries to meet basic needs.

Fiscal indiscipline and personal greed among some governors, Onyeka added, lead to the misappropriation of state resources.

He urged for a reduction in the cost of governance at all levels, including a decrease in the number of political appointees and official vehicles, to curb wastage and promote fiscal discipline.

Onyeka called for the alignment of salaries and allowances of elected and appointed officials with those of civil servants.

He also recommended that government procurement processes be streamlined to ensure integrity, accountability, and transparency.

To enforce the minimum wage law, Onyeka suggested sequestering federal allocations to non-compliant states until they comply.

He also advocated for empowering labor unions and strengthening the judiciary, particularly the National Industrial Court, to issue enforceable orders against defaulting states.

In conclusion, Onyeka asserted that organized labor has the right to strike and urged the federal government to protect workers exercising this legal right.