Abuja — Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari may transmit the minimum wage bill to the National Assembly on or before Wednesday, January 23, 2019.
Ngige said the Federal Government would hold all statutory meetings of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), National Economic Council (NEC) and the National Council of State (NCS) to enable it transmit the new national minimum wage bill to the National Assembly.
"As for the transmission of the Executive bill to the National Assembly, the government will religiously implement all the processes that will enable us transmit this bill within the stipulated time. We have a target time of January 23, 2018 and we hope that all things being equal, government will be able to do so. I thank the labour unions for their understanding and appeal to them that the threats should come down. Protests are no longer necessary."
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, who spoke with journalists after a protest yesterday in Abuja, said although his team would take the promise made by government to their members for further deliberations, the organised labour would not hesitate to take a next level action against government should it fail to keep its promise of transmitting the new minimum wage bill to the National Assembly.
Wabba, who charged the President to immediately transmit the bill to the National Assembly for legislative action, said the protest rally served as a warning to the Federal Government before a nationwide strike is declared if the government continues to delay the transmission of the minimum wage bill to the National Assembly.
He said: "Today in every Government House in Nigeria, protest is being organised to remind our political leaders across the country of our dissatisfaction with the non-transmission of the bill to the National Assembly.
"Minimum wage of N18, 000 is no longer able to sustain workers and therefore no longer realistic." "We are here to submit our letter of protest and demand to the FCTA minister for onward transmission to the President."
However, Head of Human Resources in the FCTA, Mr. Lazarus Gaza, who received the protest letter from the NLC President, assured labour that the letter would be delivered accordingly.
Meanwhile, Senator Shehu Sani, while addressing the protesters in Abuja, said he joined the protest to express his support for the struggle for the new national minimum wage for workers in the country.