The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria yesterday warned the Senate to put on hold the planned deregulation of the national minimum wage in the country in the interest of industrial peace.
The union alleged that since most of the Senators were “sponsored” by the state governors, it was not unlikely that they were under pressure to deregulate wage so that the states could pay paltry sums as salaries far less that the N18,000 monthly national minimum wage to their workers.
In a statement by the Secretary-General of ASCSN, Mr. Alade Lawal, the association argued that such an action would not be fair to Nigerian workers.
Lawal said, “Such a plan, if carried out, will lead to anarchy in the industrial relation arena in the country and will negatively affect the democratic process and impoverish Nigerian workers and their dependants, as many state governors would want to pay as low as N5,000 as minimum wage. We urge the Senate to reverse itself on this matter and demonstrate for once that it is not only preoccupied with legislations that benefit its members.”
The association stressed the need for the legislature to be engaged in deep intellectual reflection before embarking on the amendment of the constitution or initiating new laws in order not to jeopardise the stability of the country.
Lawal recalled that a recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that about 112 million Nigerians lived below poverty line.
He advised the Senate to be concerned about how to alleviate poverty among the teeming voters “who put them in their privileged positions instead of being preoccupied with how to impoverish them more.”