The Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, has stated that State Governments refusing to pay the national minimum wage are breaching Federal laws and warned that any non-complying state can be taken to court.
The Minister disclosed this in an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.
What Ngige said about non-compliance with Nigeria’s Minimum wage
“Applicability of minimum wage says all parts of the Federation are to comply; Section 3 also says, N30,000 shall be paid. It does not give rules for picking and choosing; it’s a must,” he said.
“State Governments not paying are breaching the law of the land. This minimum wage is different from CVA (Collective Bargaining agreement); this is a national decree that says what you will pay to the lowest-paid employee in your establishment.”
The Minister added that State Governments were employers and that both state and private sector employers were under the rule of the law until repealed.
“Any State Government that goes to renegotiate minimum wage, are running afoul of the law, and Section 3.3 of the law says any other agreement reached is null and void.
We are negotiating with the Attorney General of the Federation; the law permits me to take them (State Governments) to court. I can take any employer to court,” the Minister warned.
What you should know
The Federal Government disclosed last year that it would exempt minimum wage earners from paying personal income tax, in order to stimulate the economy and improve the standard of living of minimum wage earners, under the Finance Bill, 2021.