OLUONYE KONYEGWAEHI 16 August 2013, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has commended the leadership and members of the House of Representatives for not only retaining the national minimum wage on the exclusive legislative list, but giving its word to ensure it remained so, contrary to the position of members of the Senate.
NLC, in a statement by its President, Abdulwaheed Omar, said the way members of the house concluded the constitution amendment exercise which covered 85 clauses, was a mark of selflessness, courage and patriotism and should be emulated by those elected to serve the public in whatever capacity.
According to NLC, the process leading to the voting on the amendment clauses was painstakingly thorough, deep and enjoyed broad ownership, saying “Congress notes that there was a demonstrable determination on the part of the House to vote in spite of suspicious glitches, and the process was transparent and devoid of any acrimony or self-recrimination.
Similarly, the decisions of the House were bold, patriotic and people-oriented as well as send a signal that the House could be independent-minded, and could be relied upon to support the interest of the working people and other poor Nigerians. It is instructive that the House did not only retain the National Minimum Wage on the Exclusive List, but gave its word to ensure it remains there.”
“The House should also be commended for observing due process by way of stepping down two clause because public hearing had not been conducted on them. This further illustrates the openness of the House and their determination not only to do what is right but to lead by example.
“The Congress holds the view that if the example of the House is followed in subsequent amendments, it would be possible to have a people- constitution.”
NLC in the statement added “we seize this opportunity to renew our call to political combatants in the country to play by the rules, for in the long run, the rule of law and respect for the wishes of the people are what will advance the cause of our nation and not impunity or brigandage.
“Congress also stands ready to defend and protect the constitution amendment as reflected by the House,” he said.