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5 Jan 2019

New Minimum Wage: What FG Discussed With NLC, TUC

The Federal Government has said it will continue negotiation with the Organise Labour on Monday to prevent the threat of strike over non transmission of the New National Minimum Wage bill to the National Assembly.

Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment said this after meeting with the labour leaders on Friday in Abuja.

We had reported that the National Executive Council of the NLC had threatened to embark on a nationwide protest on Jan. 8 to make government transmit the tripartite committee report on the N30,000 minimum wage to the National Assembly.

The labour ultimatum followed President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that a “high powered technical committee” would be set up to study the report before transmitting to the legislatures.
But speaking during the meeting Ngige said: “we are continuing the meeting on Monday and we are making progress. We have made substantial progress. That is progress in terms of transmission of the new national minimum wage.

“So, we are discussing on ways to fast track and we are taking appropriate steps as required by us by law.

“Mr President is more committed to this as he was the one that set of the Tripartite Committee on the minimum wage and even inaugurated them and also put in all the resources,” he said.

According to NAN, Ngige had earlier said the meeting was called as a result of the communique issued by the joint Labour Centres in Lagos.

“That is when you informed government that you are not happy with the implementation processes of the report of the tripartite committee. So government decided to meet with you today and brief you fully on all we have been doing.

“If you have questions, you ask us so that we can be on the same page because Mr President is determined to give a minimum wage to Nigerian workers. But in doing so, he has to do a minimum wage that can be sustainable.

“In doing that, it means that we have to do a proper process in what we have to do. The national minimum wage is an existing act that need amendment. So, it is not a question of only money.

“There are things that we need to do before sending the bill to the National Assembly and do it in a way to maintain the sustainable status of the minimum wage. This why we have called you and for you to suggest to us.

“Also we will like to hear your own views or what we should add so that we can fast track the process,” he said.

He added that: “we are aware that when the bill get to the National Assembly, it becomes the business of all of us, including the public.”

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