Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has stated that it will be illegal for states to determine what they can pay as minimum wage.

According to him, the minimum wage was deliberately placed in the exclusive legislative list, to ensure uniformity in application.

Falana stated this at a tweet conference/roundtable to mark the International Day to end Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) 2018.

“I have heard arguments that every state should be allowed to determine what they can pay. But all the governors earn the same salary apart from allowances and security vote.

“All legislators earn the same no matter where they come from. Every Senator earns about N15million per month. So on the ground of equality, that argument cannot be sustained.

“Secondly, labour and industrial matters are in the exclusive legislative list, deliberately so. Otherwise, you’ll have starvation wages and state government that will not pay salaries at all,” he said.

Falana also stated that it was only when it involved addressing the terrible living conditions of the poor, that the government talks about inflation.

“You must also understand that this is a class matter. The members of the ruling class, regardless of political parties, are one and the same when it comes to addressing the problems of the poor.

“So the legislators who earn N15million believe that if you increase minimum wage from N18,000 to N30,000, there will be inflation. So, the government can pay if it wants to pay,” Falana said.