The chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, Abdulazez Yari of Zamfara, and Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, were booed by Nigerian workers yesterday while making their submissions at the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee public hearing on the new minimum wage.
The general consensus by critical stakeholders at the hearing was that N30,000 was affordable and that the issue of revenue formula review was long overdue.
DAILY POST earlier reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives,Yakubu Dogara, in his welcome address, declared that the N30,000 being proposed was not even enough, adding that Nigerian workers deserved a living wage.
Ngige and Gov. Yari were not spared by the workers who stormed venue of the public hearing in large numbers as they were both booed throughout their submissions.
Ngige, at a point, was forced to tell the workers that “if you like, don’t clap for me. As a rule here, you don’t clap.”
The workers replied with a thunderous ‘time up! time up.’
Ngige in his submission, had earlier told the panellists that the decision of the National Council of State, NCS, was not cast on stone, stressing that for anybody to say there was an agreement was a misnomer.
The Minister said that the Federal Government would pay level one federal civil servants a minimum of N30,000.
Also speaking, President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Ayuba Wabba, told the stakeholders that any increase in workers’ wages would not translate into inflation.
He said, “So far, 30 state governors have agreed to pay N30,000 and only six are still delaying their support.’’
On his part, Chairman of NGF, Yari pointed out that the forum accepted what was approved by NCS as regards the minimum wage of workers.
He said that governors were not against Nigerian workers, while pleading with them to understand the economic situation in the country.
“Let me also emphasize on the issue of revenue formula, the truth is that it’s long overdue for a review,” he said.
Shortly after his presentation, the congregation started chanting “Ole ole ole” to the hearing of chairman of NGF, Yari.
Other stakeholders, such as the private sector and the Small Scale and Medium Enterprise agreed, in their presentations, to pay N30,000 per month as minimum wage.