Being on the exclusive list means that the determination and negotiation of the minimum wage bill is the responsibility of the Federal Government. If this bill is passed to the concurrent list, the Federal Government will no longer dictate how much states will pay as minimum wage, it becomes the sole responsibility of the state governments.
However, the structure of Nigeria's Federal system does not allow states to control their resources and pay their workers a reasonable amount of money.
If the Federal Government leaves the workers at state levels at the mercy of their governors, as the concurrent list dictates, states such as Osun and others who are in debt will have excuses to pay workers as low as N7,000 to 12,000. It is easy to think this is not possible but a recent example where the Federal Government said it was lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty by paying the common man N5,000 would come to mind.
Some states in debt and lacking control over their little resources will claim that if the Federal Government can raise millions of Nigerians out of poverty with N5000, why can’t they pay N7,000 to N12,000 as minimum wages.
Therefore, the lawmakers who are quick to listen to governors on their plight for minimum wage should listen to governors on reducing the other things on the exclusive list of the Federal Government. One of the most advocated things in the exclusive list is the control of resources by states. So, the bill that should be passed before the minimum wage is the resource control bill.
Chairman of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, in a public lecture suggested that states should turn their resources into wealth. He went further to say that resources in each state should be managed by states while states in return will pay federal taxes and royalties to the Federal Government.
Over time, Nigerians have advocated for restructuring but the House of Assembly has been acting as if it was not part of the game of restructuring, keeping mute on it. In the real sense, the House of Assembly is the first gateman in restructuring Nigeria.
Unfortunately, the House of Assembly has resorted to passing bills that will favor members of the political class such as the governors.
The protesting workers have also argued clearly that the move of the legislature does not work in their favour, they maintained that it is an attempt by some state governors and members of the National Assembly to short-change them.