Nigeria: Labour Again Shun Meeting With Govt On Minimum Wage

4 November 2018

Abuja — Organised labour last night shunned meeting organised by the Federal Government to resolve the impasse on the new minimum wage.

Non of the labour leaders attended the meeting at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

One of the key officers of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, told Vanguard that the meeting was irrelevant as the only meeting they would attend was the one scheduled today for the signing of the report of the Tripartite Committee.

It was reliably gathered that labour leaders switched off the phone lines to avoid distraction from the government team.

Already, Vanguard gathered that the Federal Government has decided to punish some unions that would heed the directive of the labour centres to proceed on strike action tomorrow.

But a call and text message put across to the phone line of the minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige was neither picked nor the message replied by the minister.

The SGF Mustapha, who spoke earlier, gave indication that the tripartite committee on national minimum wage set up by the Federal Government would be concluding work and submit its report today (Monday).

Further, the SGF explained that the Federal Government was waiting for the report so that it could commence processes leading to the enactment of law on the new minimum wage.

He said the report was expected to go through the National Economic Council and the Council of State before a proposed legislation would be sent to the National Assembly on the issue.

He hinted that what was pending was for the panel to harmonise the 15th chapter of the report, the figures, before submitting the report to the President.

"I assure you that government is waiting for the report and will immediately set up processes required for implementation.

"Hopefully, their work would be concluded when they meet tomorrow (Monday) and append their signatures to the report.

"They will then transmit to me and I will seek an audience with the President to present it to him.

"The report will go through NEC, Council of State before a draft executive bill will be sent to NASS.

"I am awaiting the report of the committee. They will meet tomorrow (Monday) at 11am," he said.

The SGF said the ability to pay was critical in arriving at a decision on the minimum wage, while noting that a lot of states are still battling to pay the current minimum wage.

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