Minimum Wage: FG moves to avert protest, meets with NLC, others

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FREEPRESS – The federal government resumed talks with the labour unions on Friday in a bid to prevent the planned January 8 protest over the non implementation of the new minimum wage.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, is currently leading other ministers including the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, at a meeting with the NLC, TUC and other labour unions.
The Nigerian Labour Congress has been at loggerheads with the federal government over a new minimum wage.

The NLC and other labour unions demand that the national minimum wage be increased to N30,000 from the current N18,000.

President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to commit to the new proposal.

Instead, the president said last year that he would set up a technical committee to review the N30,000 proposed by a tripartite committee earlier set up by the federal government.

State governments have also said they would not be able to pay the N30,000 minimum wage.

The NLC, however, said it would not partake in any further negotiations and that all the president needs to do is send a bill to the National Assembly for the N30,000 minimum wage.

The labour congress, a registered coalition of many workers’ unions, said it will hold a one-day protest against the president’s action on January 8.

Mr Ngige had said the technical committee proposed by President Buhari was not meant to review the report of the Minimum Wage Tripartite Committee.

Mr Ngige said 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,” he had said.
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