Another nationwide strike looms! As Labour rejects separate minimum wage — Nigerian Pilot News
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Another nationwide strike looms! As Labour rejects separate minimum wage

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*Threatens to shut down the economy after Friday NEC meeting

*Says workers shouldn’t be held responsible for such development

*The new minimum wage will be reviewed after 5yrs – Ngige

With few days to the Presidential and National Assembly elections, the organized labour may embark on a nationwide strike to protest the N27,000 minimum wage approved by the National Council of State at the end of its meeting yesterday.

Although the Council approved the sum of N30, 000 for federal civil servants as against the N27, 000 it approved for state civil servants, Labour insisted that the National Council of state has no jurisdiction to determine another amount after a tripartite committee had submitted its report which recommended N30, 000 as minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

According to the General Secretary of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Mr. Peter Ozo-Eson; “It is abysmal of government to be delaying the submission of an executive bill to the National Assembly and by wrongfully adopting N27, 000 through the council of states instead of N30, 000.”

He disclosed that the NLC has called for an emergency national executive council meeting to discuss the deadline given to government to submit an executive bill to the National Assembly.

The NLC General Secretary added that the federal government was only projecting a shutdown of the economy with its latest action.

“This is because workers should not be held responsible for any development after its NEC meeting on Friday,” he said.

The National Council of State had at its meeting yesterday pegged the national minimum wage at N27, 000 for states and the private sector while that of federal workers is pegged at N30,000.

At the end of the meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, the labour Minister, Chris Ngige who briefed State House correspondents said the council also approved frequency of review of five years for the minimum wage adding that it also approved exemptions for establishments that are not employing up to 25 persons.

According to the Minister, the national minimum wage bill will be transmitted to the National Assembly before the close of work today (Wednesday) as agreed with organised labour.

He explained that the council took into consideration the tripartite committee recommendations of N30, 000, federal government’s proposal of N24, 000 and the governor’s proposal of N22, 700 before arriving at the decision.

Speaking further, the Minister assured that despite the announcement by the National Assembly to proceed on recess until after the elections, the concerned Committees in the National Assembly will continue work on the bill.

The meeting was attended by a former head of Nigeria’s Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan; former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan and former military head of state, Abdulsalami Abubakar.

On its part, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC also out rightly rejected the new National Minimum wage of N27, 000 saying though the decision is advisory in nature; it is weighty and may give semblance of authority to the decision.

TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama in a statement mad available to Nigerian Pilot said: “This decision must not be allowed to stand because it will set a wrong precedence for the future that after statutory bodies have done their jobs, Council of State will now sit to review it.”

“Let it be known that N30, 000 minimum wages is a product of negotiation, not legislation, not advice and not a decree.

“Minimum wage issue therefore, is moving to a new theatre, the National Assembly. We expect the representative of the people if really they are to do the needful during the public hearing”, he added.

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