Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) National Executive Committee member, Comrade Issa Aremu, has assured Nigerians that the ongoing new minimum wage negotiation between labour and government would be conclusive soon without generating any crisis.
Speaking in a statement signed by him on Wednesday evening, Aremu, said indications from the discussions showed that a peaceful and just resolution would be arrived at that would improve workers pay and boost their welfare.
“As negotiations continues on the implementation of the new minimum wage in the public sector, organized labour assured of a peaceful and just resolutions that would improve on workers’ pay and enhance the growth of Nigerian economy.”
Comrade Aremu, who is a labour member of the National Wages and Salary Commission, said, “the ongoing negotiation about minimum wage implementation in the public sector was legitimate and expected and does not in anyway mean there was a “crisis”.
“There is already a subsisting new Minimum wage of N30,000 signed into law by President Muhamadu Buhari. It was an outcome of robust negotiations between organized labour, organized private sector, federal and state governments. This is also the 5th National minimum wage Act. The first was in 1981.
“What is at stake is not a renegotiation but implementation. But as the saying goes, devil is in the details. New wage for workers is Godliness. The details are what we are working towards through dialogue with the government. I have no doubt that there would not be any crisis. There would be an agreement just the way we negotiated the past minimum wages.
“The Joint Public Service Negotiating Council is working with both the NLC and TUC to achieve the goal of a just consequential adjustment,” Aremu said while he commends the “law respecting” governments of Kaduna and Lagos states for implementing the new minimum wage.
Comrade Aremu said decent employment and living wage are not mutually exclusive, adding that decent work is work paid for adequately to ensure productivity.
He said good pay is “smart economics” because workers pay increases effective demand for goods and service in a depressed economy like Nigeria.