We shall revisit removal of minimum wage from exclusive list- David Mark


The Senate President, David Mark, on Wednesday assured Nigerian workers that the National Assembly will revisit the removal of the National minimum wage from the Exclusive List.
Mark disclosed this while addressing the protesting workers under the aegis of the Nigerian Labour Movement in Abuja.
The Senate President said that workers should not assume that the lawmakers know everything, hence, the need for them to always enlighten them on various issues.
``I want to assure you that whatever has been reviewed will be improved upon, we are in the same shoes and we feel the pains of the workers.
``We have every right to be wrong and if you assumed that we know all, then you also make mistakes.
``We have not concluded on the debate yet, we still have a long way to go, but, it is good that you have come to present your position,’’ Mark said.
He said the National Assembly would be `just and fair’ in addressing the deadlock arising from the review of the national minimum wage.
He said the joint committee of the House and the Senate would meet on the issue and looked at the position of the labour movement.
``As the Chairman of the National Assembly, I accept all responsibilities on the removal of the minimum wage from the exclusive list.
``I want to tell you that, we worked and arrived at the decisions with all sincerity and I can assure you that we will correct whatever anomalies arising from it.
``We do not only sit and take decisions; we listen to the yearnings and aspirations of the people before arriving at our decisions.
``We based our resolutions on wide consultations and we stand for the truth, fairness and equity’’, he said.
The Senate President reiterated the commitment of the upper legislative chamber to respond to the plight of Nigerians by always listening to their agitation.
He said the basis of lawmaking was to ensure good governance and political stability.
He thanked the labour movement for their demonstration of maturity, adding that, the peace protest shows that the Nigerian workers have matured.
In his address, Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo told the Senate President that the removal of the minimum wage would deny workers of major social security from their employers.
He said the minimum wage was both for the private and the public workers, urging the National Assembly to revisit the issue in the interest of all.
He said the consequences of removing labour issues from the exclusive to the concurrent list were beyond wages.
``If the senate went ahead with its decision, all the states in the country would withdraw basic protection for workers.
``In most cases, workers do not have voice and the removal will make some employers to start paying N5, 000 to their employees.
``If we don’t need anything call National Minimum Wage, then, we don’t need a National Parliament.
``Every member of the parliament should go back to his constituency to collect his allowances,’’ the governor said.
The NLC President, Mr Abdulwahed Omar said the protest was aimed at waking the awareness of the legislators.
He said the protest may resume if the lawmakers failed to look into the issues, adding that the protest was a ``do or die affair’’.
Omar thanked the leadership of the Senate for their role in sustaining peace and stability in the polity.
He presented the letter containing the union’s position to the Senate President and promised that the union would always employ dialogue in addressing issues.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 300 members of the labour movement took part in the protest march which commenced from the Labour House and ended at the National Assembly, covering a distance of about 15 kilometres.
The protest was led by the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC). (NAN) 


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