SAN FRANCISCO, September 13, (THEWILL) – Labour leaders in Nigeria have issued a two-week ultimatum to the federal government on the New Minimum Wage and allow the tripartite committee conclude its job or be ready to face industrial action.
The labour leaders, who are members of the Minimum Wage Committee, made this known at a joint news conference addressed in Lagos.
Ayuba Wabba, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, said that the committee was not pleased with the comments alleged to have been made by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.
According to him, Ngige had last week allegedly said that the committee should adjourn indefinitely to enable him do further consultations with the government.
“We view his supposed pronouncement with great concern, suspicion and outrage,” he said.
“This new antic certainly is not acceptable to Nigerian workers, who had expected a New National Minimum Wage since 2016.”
On his part, Joe Ajaero, President of the United Labour Congress, (ULC) said that issues concerning the minimum wage has been concluded and that the committee was expecting government representative to pronounce their own figure.
Ajaero, however, refused to give a likely figure that could be approved as minimum wage and also did not give a clear answer on whether government was sincere on paying the new wage.
He said that the call for a new minimum wage became necessary because it was already overdue, and in view of the increasing cost of goods and services.
The tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee, made up of 29 members drawn from organised labour and the federal and state governments, was inaugurated in May, 2017.
Although the committee was given till Sept. 1 to submit its report, it could not meet the deadline due to disagreement over the minimum wage figure.
On Aug. 21, Minister of Labour and Employment Dr Chris Ngige, however, blamed the delay on the inability of state governors to agree on a figure.
According to the minister, the Federal Government through its Economic Management Team, is working with the governors to find a common ground
Until then, the minister said he could not tell when the new minimum wage would be implemented.