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Attorney General Should Prosecute States That Fail To Pay Minimum Wage – Falana

A human rights lawyer Femi Falana has called on the Attorney General of the Federation to sanction states that fail to pay the current N30,000 minimum wage.

He said since the payment of the minimum wage is an agreement entered into freely, state governments unable to honour such a deal are breaching the law.

“Once a new agreement, a new minimum wage becomes the law of the country. The Federal Government has a duty, and the Attorney General of the country has a duty to drag any state government that does not pay to court,” he said on Tuesday’s edition of Channels Television’s The Morning Brief. 

“I mean, the attorney general can just file a new case, which is a good development, by saying over the years, we have accused state governments of diverting monuments for local governments.”

Since the removal of fuel subsidy and the floating of the naira calls for a new minimum wage have reached new highs as the cost of living skyrocketed in the country.

Despite several meetings, the Federal Governments and labour unions have not agreed on a new minimum wage. Frustrated by the development, workers downed tools on Monday, grounding economic activities in critical sectors.

But Falana believes that since states have more money after the subsidy removal, they cannot claim a lack of funds to pay the minimum wage.

“There is no state in Nigeria today that cannot pay more than the minimum wage because the government removed fuel subsidy last year and told Nigerians that the money made from that policy shall be [paid to state governments] ” the legal practitioner said.

Falana says state governments will be compelled to pay the minimum and he is pushing for the deduction of workers’ salaries from the source.

“I heard you earlier. Oh, some people cannot pay N30,000 minimum wage. It shouldn’t be coming from the government because that is an admission of illegality,” Falana said.

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