Posted by Onyebuchi Ezigbo, Abuja | 2 January 2019 | 2,475 times
The federal government has invited the leadership of the organised labour for a meeting on January 4, 2019, to brief the workforce on the steps taken by the government to ensure the implementation of the new minimum wage.
The government has also clarified that the Technical Committee proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari for the new minimum wage was not meant to review the report of the Minimum Wage Tripartite Committee.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige disclosed yesterday that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami was sudying the minimum wage bill submitted by the Tripartite Committee.
He was optimistic that the organised labour and the federal government would reach a common ground on the new minimum wage.
“There is no bad situation. We are meeting them (labour) on January 4, and we have sent them a letter inviting them. I will meet them with the Budget and Planning Minister on January 4, so that they will know what government is doing.
Nigige also clarified that the technical committee to be set up is not for the review of the minimum wage but to advise the executive.
“We will brief them properly. The labour technical committee is not for them; it is not for their consumption; it is for the executive. It is an executive committee, a committee to advise the executive, we are not reviewing the minimum wage report.
However, national President of the United Labour Congress (ULC), one of the three labour organisations in the country, Joe Ajaero, said any meeting by government now was just to buy time, stressing that what was needed presently was for President Buhari to forward an executive bill on the N30,000 new minimum wage as recommended by the Tripartite Committee to the National Assembly.
Ajaero said, “If you read Mr. President Budget speech, he was talking about setting up a Technical Committee. The very moment Minimum Wage Committee presents its report, it doesn’t meet again; it is an ad-hoc committee and not a standing committee.
“Then it is now left for Mr. President to transmit Minimum Wage bill to the National Assembly that is what we are waiting for. We gave them up till December 31, 2018 which we are not aware that the National Assembly has received the bill. So if government is fixing meeting I think it is just trying to buy time, try to engage itself.”
•Excerpted from a THISDAY report
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