Health Workers Irresponsible, Workers Should Be Paid ‘Very Low’ Minimum Wage – El-rufai
The Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai has berated the organised labour in the country, saying it has destroyed the nation more than its contribution to it.
El-Rufai also called for “very low” minimum wage for the civil servants.
The Governor spoke yesterday in Abuja at a ‘Governance Matters’ roundtable organised by Development Alternative Incorporation, DAI, where he said the excesses of the trade unions must be curtailed.
El-Rufai said, “Trade Unions have never served the country well. They have been selfish and everything is about their narrow interests. In general, in Nigeria, trade unions have been a danger to our progress and I think they should be curtailed.
“The mistake we made as a country was placing trade unions in the Exclusive Legislative List. If the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has an issue with the Federal Government, then the state universities will go on strike too. In Kaduna, I warned the Kaduna State University, that if ‘you ever go on strike again because of somebody else, I will fire all of you.’
“I think we need to do some things. First, take labour matters out of the Exclusive List because many of us are victims of agreements reached with ASUU by the Federal Government. The states were never part of such agreements.
“Secondly, is the issue of minimum wage. Except we set a very low minimum wage, there will continue to be issues especially with states that do not have wide tax net.
“You cannot set the same minimum wage for Lagos and Jigawa. Also, we must apply the labour laws strictly. No work, no pay, because there has to be a trade dispute before anything strike. That is what the law says.
“I think the health unions have been the most irresponsible because only an irresponsible doctor will abandon his patients even after swearing to the Hippocratic Oath. I think Nigerian doctors are the only ones on the planet that go on strike.
“We have submitted our report on true federalism and it will be taken to the National Assembly. We hope the National Assembly will stop dealing with inanities and deal with the real issues,” he said.
He also accused some past governors of Yobe and Borno states of being responsible for the emergence of the Boko Haram sect due to their negligence of the education sector.
“We tended to have ignored this problem (of out of school children) but this problem, when ignored, gave us Boko Haram.
“If you look at education statistics in Yobe and Borno in 2003 and 2004, you will reasonably predict that Boko Haram would happen within a decade. So, this is a huge problem.”