The Federal Government has said state governors lack the authority to reduce the national minimum wage.
At a meeting with the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said the governors were playing politics with the issue of minimum wage.
Ngige said there’s a law backing the N18,000 minimum wage, adding that in any case, it’s only the National Assembly that can wade into the matter.
The minister also blamed organised labour for heating up the polity by joining issues with the state governors over talks of minimum wage.
“When the NLC joined the governors in talking about minimum wage, with the governors saying we can’t pay N18,000 minimum wage and NLC says it is time for us to ask for increase, we now know that these 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 power 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 tripatite discussion, involving public hearing.
“Please let a sleeping dog lie, because this country is going through a very difficult time now and requires your prayers and support. Nobody can reduce wages now. If anything, if you have more money, you pay higher.