The ongoing agitation by the organized labour for the Federal Government (FG) and the state governors to conduct an upward review of the current minimum wage of N18,000 has seen a civil society group, Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International, wade into the issue.
The group on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the FG and the state governors with an order mandating them to commence the process of enacting the payment of a new N30,000 minimum wage.
The group, through its lawyer, Okere Nnamdi, also sought an order restraining the organised labour, comprising the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC), from embarking on the indefinite strike planned to commence on November 6.
The plaintiff filed the suit, marked NICN/ABJ/286/18, before the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday.
Those included in the suit included President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige; the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission; the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission; and the National Assembly.
The rest who are the 10th to the 45th defendants are the governors of the 36 states of the federation.
However, the state governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, has reiterated its position saying it could only pay N22, 500 as the minimum wage with the organized labour accepting nothing less than N30,000.
Citing a claim by the organised labour, the plaintiff said, “negotiation between the government and the organised labour according to the Nigerian Labour Congress has been concluded and a new minimum wage of N30, 000 agreed by the parties.”
Explaining the group’s opposition to the proposed strike, the plaintiff said, “should the organised labour shut down the entire nation on November 6, 2018, including health sector, it will deny many poor Nigerians access to health care, especially those on emergency/accident unit, pregnant women on antenatal and those on post-natal, and will result in avoidable death of many innocent lives.”