4th January 2021
HE Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, PhD.
Governor of Kano State
Kano State Government House
Kano – Kano State
REFUSAL TO PAY NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE AND RENEGING ON COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT ON CONSEQUENTIAL SALARY ADJUSTMENT ARE UNACEPTABLE TO US
I bring you fraternal greetings from the Nigeria Labour Congress.
Your Excellency, we write you with a lot of concern on the unsavory industrial relations development in Kano State.
First, your administration suddenly stopped paying workers the new national minimum wage which your state was lauded as one of the first to comply with the provisions of the National minimum Wage Act. Second, your administration has reneged on the Collective Bargaining Agreement you reached with workers on the payment of consequential salary adjustment based on the new national minimum wage.
The claims that the reasons for this sudden volte face include the economic crunch occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic loads this debilitating punch thrown at poor workers with quantum ferocity. Your Excellency, as an expert in our laws, knows quite well that no one in our country has the privilege of cherry picking which aspect of our laws to obey. The National Minimum Wage Act is a law which must be obeyed by every employer in Nigeria. It is not negotiable. The refusal by any employer to pay the N30000 new national minimum wage is tantamount to willful violation of our laws. Persistence in doing so can only be described as a dangerous stroll in “Anarchy” boulevard.
Kano State has been a shining example of progressive politics in Nigeria. Your Excellency would recall that after the new national minimum wage was signed into law on May 13, 1981, Kano State government under the Late Alhaji Abubakar Rimi without any prompting added Two Naira to the One Hundred and Twenty Five Naira National Minimum Wage. Kano State also went ahead to declare May 1 as public holiday thus becoming the first state to accord workers the honour of a statewide holiday in commemoration of Workers’ Day.
Since assuming the reins of power in Kano State, Your Excellency has striven to give further verve to the dynamics of progressive politics in Kano State. We urge Your Excellency not to drop the ball now. If there is any time to even increase workers take home, it is now as the impact of the COVID-19 has pauperized millions of workers in the world including many of our compatriots in Nigeria. This is the reason why most countries of the world are supporting their workers and citizens with all manner of palliatives and even salary raises. Why should the case of Nigerian and Kano State workers be different?
We demand that the cuts in salaries paid to Kano State workers be stopped forthwith and the shortfalls reimbursed immediately. We also demand that the Kano State government goes back to the lawful discharge of its obligation to pay the New National Minimum Wage of N30,000. The consequential adjustment is a product of Collective Bargaining which the Kano State Government is duty bound to honour.
While we look forward to your immediate intervention to stave off a looming but unnecessary industrial unrest in Kano State, please accept the renewed assurances of our highest esteem.
Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni