FG not prepared for minimum wage – NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has declared that the Federal Government is not ready to come up with a figure for an upward review of the minimum wage; even though it admitted and agreed that there was a serious need to increase workers’ salary.
The congress has however summoned the meeting of its organs for next week to report the federal government and take the next action “to ensure that the interest of the workers are not undermines.” NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, accused the government and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige of frustrating and delaying the process; warning that workers can’t continue to be patient.
Based on its time-line and agreement to conclude their work on August 21, the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage which included the organized labour, employers and government, concluded its report last week; but against Labour and employers expectation, the minister announced that the federal government was not ready with any figure.
“So, clearly speaking, they were not prepared to actually produce a figure between 4th and 5th (September) at the meeting we had, but our report has been completed.
it is just to agree at a particular figure,” Wabba said in an interview with journalists In Abuja.
“You could recall that the committee was inaugurated in November 2017, but the committee started its assignment in March this year due to some logistic reasons and at its inaugural meeting, all the parties produced a work plan which spelled out the modus operandi and the duration of the work of the committee.
“By the work plan, we were supposed to end and submit our report by the 21st of August.
Unfortunately, that day falls on a public holiday and therefore it was agreed that the 4th and 5th August should be used to complete the assignment of the committee and all members were committed to this process of completing the work of the committee and also forwarding it to the appropriate quarter.
“At that meeting, we were able to complete entirely the report.
But just before we conclude the Minister of Labour who spoke at that occasion as the representative of the federal government said that they needed to go and consult before they arrive at a figure and we though that this committee was put in place, in November and all through, everybody is aware that all the stakeholders need to tidy up whatever consultations or process they want to do and make sure that we are able to work within that time line,” Wabba added He further said, “clearly speaking, they were not prepared to actually produce a figure between 4h and 5th at the meeting we had, but our report has been completed, it is just to agree at a particular figure.
However, all the parameters to be used to agree on a figure also is clearly there.” Wabba explained that states have sent in memoranda, adding that 21 states sent in memoranda where about 12 also quoted figures, while the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the organized labour submitted figure.

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