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Government, Organised Labour continue meeting on Monday

The meeting between the Nigerian government delegation and the organise Labour on the delay in transmitting the proposed Minimum Wage bill to the National Assembly on Friday has been scheduled to reconvene on Monday.

The meeting which was Chaired by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige in Abuja, also had in attendance the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udoma Leadership of the organise Labour union, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and Boboyi Kaigama amongst others.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting that lasted for seven hours, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said that they made progress interms of transmitting the proposed bill to the National Assembly for legislation.

Senator Ngige noted that government is not delaying the process for the implementation of the minimum wage but taking necessary steps as required by law.

The Nigerian government says the present administration is committed to give the Nigerian workers a new national minimum wage.

The Minister said that in doing so, they have to ensure the sustainability of the process.

Government Implementation

He stated that, national minimum wage is an existence act that needs an amendment by the national assembly before the implementation by the government.

Dr Ngige said that there was a guideline that need to be followed before the implementation of the National minimum wage.

If the president is not committed to it, he would not set up the national minimum wage committee in the first instance, but he did so. He inaugurated the committee including the resources that will enable them to carry out the work. He is ready for it and received the report too. So we are now working on the report. The report is on a rough form, it has to be transmitted to the National Assembly. And we are now discussing with labour on how to fast track it, he explained.

The Minister hinted that, a bill to that regard will be transmitted to the National Assembly by the Executive arms to legislate on it before passing it into law for fully implementation.

He said that the meeting is in view of the joint communique of the two labour unions in Lagos that they are not happy with the implementation process taken by the government to actualize their new national minimum wage as contain in the reports of the tripartite committee of the new minimum wage.

Dr Ngige said that the meeting was to seek the input of the trade union on how to fast track the process for the implementation of the new minimum wage.

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said that the union has always believed in social dialogue in resolving any industrial disharmony with the government.

Due for Reviewing

Wabba noted that, Labour has demonstrated matururity and understanding in handling the issue since 2016 when the new minimum wage is over due for reviewing.

The President explained that, after the tripartite committee submitted it’s report two months ago, the unions have been patient to allow the process to take it course, saying that they were aware that there is process to be followed before implementation.

He stressed that since they submitted the report to the government there is no clear communication to that effect on how far the process has gone.

According to him, we have a social dialogue in the national minimum wage as we are aware and the meeting decided that it should be adjourned and reconvene on Monday for us to do further consultation before the issues are concluded. We have actually discuss all the issues, all the areas particularly on how we can be able to make sure that this issue is put behind us and that clearly, that is why we took so much of this time including going out to have some time out to consult.

Comrade Wabba noted that the brief of the minimum wage is legally due in June 2018.

The NLC President said that the workers have waited patiently enough to the implementation of the long awaited national minimum wage to be approved by the government.

Source: Voice of Nigeria