By NBF News

Kwara State chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has berated state governors calling for removal of oil subsidy before they can implement N18, 000 minimum wage for their workers, describing the call as unfair.

Speaking with the Daily Sun in Ilorin yesterday, the NLC Chairman, Umar Farooq Akanbi, also said the union was optimistic that the state government would pay the N18, 000 minimum wage to its workers judging by the commitment of the immediate past administration and the current government in the state.

'You can imagine the level of hardship that this will bring on people. It is also going to rubbish whatever achievement that would have been attained in terms of minimum wage for workers because the policy of fuel price increase in Nigeria is that it comes with inflation and spiral effect on economy, market forces and so on. It is like calling for a harsher reality for Nigerians and that is unfair,' he said.

Akanbi said a committee, with labour union's representation and set up by the state government was already in place to draw up a table, work out financial implications, find out ability of state government to pay and recommend a date to commence implementation of the minimum wage, adding that the committee was at verge of completing its assignment.

'We are waiting for the committee to submit its report and await reaction of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to make a commitment to the outcome of the committee's assignment. That is why you have not heard any ultimatum from us, or proceeding on strike, because we believe we are making tremendous progress here. Labour is well represented in the committee,' he said.

He also said if the review of allocation accruable to state governments was done or not, the minimum wage has to be paid, adding that the states accepted N18, 000 from N52, 000 demanded by the NLC based on their allocation when they were negotiating.

The Kwara NLC chairman, therefore, called for a review of the cost of governance to enable states pay the N18, 000 minimum wage conveniently, saying 'we are having too many aides and duplication of offices,' he said.