The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked state governors to stop using COVID-19 as an excuse not to pay minimum wage.
Deputy President of the congress, Joe Ajaero, made this known in an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday.
Ajaero opined that while some states have been implementing the minimum wage, others are praying for the pandemic not to end in order not to pay workers.
He said the reason for the union embarking on a nationwide protest on Wednesday is the attempt of the National Assembly to move the minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list.
The NLC official added that while negotiations for minimum wage were in progress, the least payable amount by states was put into consideration.
He said: “The capacity of states was put into consideration during the negotiations. That is why the minimum wage was put at N30,000. Some states have the capacity to pay N100,000. But there was consideration based on the least; there was consideration based on their revenue.
“Some states in good faith have started implementing, but many of them are hiding under this issue of COVID-19 and that is why you see them praying that this will continue so that they will not be engaged on this issue of minimum wage payment. And that is why some of them are not paying but are tending to some other needs which to them is their priority.
“Critically, about nine states are chronic about it, they are fighting against the implementation. And then some of the other states have started the implementation but some in defect.”