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Ex-NLC President Calls For True Federalism, Return To Parliamentary System

Ex-NLC President Calls For True Federalism, Return To Parliamentary System
  • PublishedMarch 13, 2021


By Ismaeel Uthman

First National President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, has made case for true federalism and return to the parliamentary system of government, which was in practice at the early stage of Nigeria’s Independence. 

Sunmonu, in an interview with OSUN DEFENDER yesterday in Osogbo, State of Osun, said it amounted to mischief and hypocrisy for members of the National Assembly to propose removal of minimum wage from the exclusive list without talking about true federalism and decentralisation. 

According to Sunmonu, if governors and permanent secretaries of the 36 states of the federation can be collecting the same amount of salaries, irrespective of the Internally-Generated Revenues of their states, then there is nothing bad in having a national minimum wage. 

He said: “I support the struggle of the NLC. I am amazed and surprised that a group of House of Reps. members now want minimum wage to be a state affair, when the permanent secretaries in various states are on Level 17 like permanent secretaries at the Federal level. 

“The 36 states governors are receiving salaries of same amount without minding whether their states are rich or poor. Why is anybody talking about decentralising minimum wage for Nigerian workers and making it states’ affairs? I see it as discriminatory. Let the governors and permanent secretaries also revert to state wages.

“What our legislators should actually do is to make sure that Nigeria goes back to true federalism and the parliamentary system of government that we started with at Independence. It was when the military staged their coup, counter-coup and so on that they imposed unitary system of government on Nigeria and Nigerians. Why should anybody just take out the minimum wage for decentralisation without taking all the other items that should be decentralised?

“Instead of them to let Nigeria revert to the parliamentary system of government and true federalism, they now see the defenceless and powerless workers as the ones to be disenfranchised on minimum wage that had been enacted for the country. 

“What they (lawmakers) should be fighting for in order to have peace, security and development in Nigeria is that Nigeria should revert to true federalism. Nigeria is a military republic and we need to go back to our parliamentary system of government that was in place at the early stage of independence.

“Everything, from federal, state, local government, national and state houses of assembly should be done according to true federalism.”

Sunmonu stated further: “Under normal circumstances, each state has the right to have State Police, Local Government Police under federal system, but that is not the case in Nigeria. How can somebody control the whole Police system from Abuja? 

“The state governors who are the so-called chief security officers of their various states cannot have the Committee of Police to take decisions without first clearing from the Inspector-General of Police. That is not how to run a federal system.”

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