Update On New Minimum Wage
President of the Nigerian Labour Congress,( NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has said that significant progress on the talks between the NLC and the Federal Government could not be made because a consensus figure of the exact amount of the minimum wage is yet to be agreed.
Wabba said the National Minimum Wage Committee is yet to submit its report to President Muhammadu Buhari , in addition, the federal government is yet to come up with a figure to be agreed upon
He said that while the committee set up on the new minimum wage had concluded its deliberation, the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, told the committee that the federal government needed to consult before coming up with its own figure, a position he said negates an earlier agreement to work within a time scale.
The minister told newsmen in Anambra state that state governors were frustrating the committee’s efforts but Wabba insisted that 21 states had actually made presentation to the committee with many of them quoting figures, while others agreed they would abide by whatever figure was the consensus.
He said that organised labour has called a meeting of all its stakeholders with a view to informing them of the development, pointing out that a definite position would be taken after the meeting as the new minimum wage implementation is already two years behind schedule.
“If you recall, the new minimum wage committee was inaugurated in November 2017 but started its assignment in March 2018, due to logistics reasons.
“At its inaugural meeting, all parties produced a work plan which spelt out the modus operandi and duration of the work of the committee.
“By the work plan, we were supposed to end our work and submit our report by August 21. Unfortunately, that date fell on a public holiday and so, it was agreed that the September 4 and 5 be used to complete the work of the committee.
“At that meeting, we were able to complete the entire report. But just before we concluded, the minister of Labour said as representative of the federal government, they needed to go and consult before arriving at a figure.
“The federal government came and said they have not finished their consultations and that they needed time to consult. But, it was all of us who took the decision to have a work plan.
“Clearly speaking, they were not prepared to produce a figure by that date. But our report has been completed. What is left is just to agree on a particular figure. All the parameters to be used to arrive at a figure are there.
“I can say clearly that states have sent in memorandum. In fact, 21 states sent in memorandum, with about 12 quoting figures, NECA has submitted a figure, organised labour has submitted a figure. What we thought was that we should be able to complete that assignment by September,” he said.