Minimum Wage: Government, Labour Agree On Bill Transmission Date
The Nigerian Government and the organised labour in Nigeria have signed an agreement that the government must transmit the Bill for a new National Minimum Wage to the National Assembly on or before 23 of this month.
They reached the agreement after days of negotiation and a nationwide protest which held on Tuesday.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige while reading details of the communiqué, promised that the government will do everything in its power to keep its own part of the bargain.
“We have a target time of January 2019 and we know that all things being equal, the Executive will be able to do so.
“We will take on the statutory meetings of the Federal Executive Council, National Economic Council and the National Council of State, to enable us transmit the Bill on the New National Minimum Wage.
“On the part of government, we are going to try to religiously implement all the processes that will enable us to transmit this bill within the stipulated time,” he said.
The Minister however, commended labour for their cooperation and understanding and appealed to them to withdraw the threat of industrial action, saying the protests are no longer necessary.
Presidents of the Nigeria Labour Congress Ayuba Wabba and Trade Union Congress, Bobboi Kaigama, said labour was committed to seeing the processes that lead to the actualization of a new national wage for workers.
According to Mr Ayuba Wabba, President Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)
“We have agreed that the agreement reached should be documented and it should be signed by government representatives and organised labour, we thought that is a more firm commitment.
“We believed with this we can actually start following up the process, we have asked them to keep faith with the timeline, so that it will be concluded, as the minimum wage issue has being on the table for the past two years.
“We also thought that after having submitted the report and also drafted a draft bill by now we expected the bill should have been submitted ,” he said.
He also noted that the NASS would resume on January 16 from its recess, adding that, on or before January 23, the bill must have been transmitted.
He added that the NASS members are desirous of making sure that workers in Nigeria have decent wage, they will also be able to do the needful.
“We will shift our lobby to the NASS because once the bill is enacted; the money will be in the pockets of the workers.
“The Issues of industrial relations are always addressed at the round table. We have been diligent in the whole process and workers have been patient,
“So, we are committed to the process and hope that the timeline will be respected. We will put this across to our organs and give them all the details contained in the Memorandum of Understanding,” Wabba said.