Posted by Collins Olayinka, Abuja | 16 October 2018 | 9,235 times
When the organised labour suspended its strike action over declaration of negotiation of minimum wage on Sunday, 30th September 2018, it was believed that a new minimum wage would soon be announced.
But another announcement by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige that negotiation was inconclusive and that no agreement had been reached over a definite figure even after the tripartite negotiation committee rounded off its deliberations, has thrown up fresh agitation in the labour circle.
According to The Guardian, the October 4th and 5th meeting, both the organised private sector and organised labour agreed on N30, 000 while the Federal Government team led by Ngige pressed for N25, 000.
The conclusion was that since the organised labour and organised private sector are in agreement and in the spirit of tripartism, two against one was a done deal.
The meeting then adjourned to await the date for presentation to the Federal Government.
With these achieved, labour said it was at a loss at what transpired within government circle within one week.
Indeed, Ngige made unveiled his new position after the first the FEC meeting that preceded the conclusion of the committee’s negotiation.
Speaking at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, Ngige said the Federal Government proposed N24, 000 as the new minimum wage for civil servants.
Ngige claimed that when the committee reconvened on October 5th, after the NLC had suspended its nationwide strike, “the organised labour came down to N30, 000 the organised private sector came down to N25, 000 while the state governments proposed N20, 000.”
He said the Federal Government is still ‘consulting’ and that the negotiation is on going.
In his reaction to the development, President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba said the entire labour movement was dumbfounded by the latest argument of the Minister.
He added that the organised labour would not hesitate to declare yet another strike action that would be debilitating to the nation’s economy should the Federal Government delays the promulgation of a new minimum wage within the shortest period of time.
•Excerpted from Guardian report
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