—AS Ngige commends organized labour for exhibiting maturity during negotiation process
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Princess Owoh
THE Federal Government on Wednesday transmitted executive bill to the National Assembly for the new minimum wage of N27,000 for state government workers and the private sector as well as N30,000 for the federal workers.
The National Council of State comprising past Presidents, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Senate President and governors had in a meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday, approved the new minimum wage and mandated the President to forward executive bill to the National Assembly.
Confirming the transmission of the bill to the National Assembly, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang said that the bill had been forwarded to the parliament.
He said, “Well, Mr. President has transmitted the communication in respect of the minimum wage. The bill has been transmitted to the National Assembly and it is inappropriate to speak on it until it is read.”
Meanwhile the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has commended the organized labour for exhibiting maturity during the negotiation process despite the temporal misunderstanding with the government.
The Minister stated this at the maiden edition of capacity building workshop for members of the Labour Correspondents Association of Nigeria, LACAN, in Abuja.
Speaking on the topic, “The Minimum Wage question in an election year”, he said, “let me call on all the participants at the workshop to make the best use of this opportunity to understand the delicate intricacies involve in wage negotiation, socio-economic variables, and interplay of political forces and interest groups as well compelling demands to comply with international best practices.
“This undoubtedly will positively impact on your professional competence in labour journalism. I cannot end this address without acknowledging the tremendous understanding exhibited by the Organized Labour in spite of our initial misunderstanding on the best way to adopt in a arriving at a mutually beneficial outcome.
“The Federal Government is highly indebted to you for your patience, maturity and faith in the entire negotiation process. These attributes enabled us to resolve the temporal impasse without throwing the country into an unnecessary inflamed wage crisis. I salute you for this!
“Wage negotiations world over are no doubt contentious and in most case controversial. It is in this regard, that the process requires rigorous intellectual discourse that will enable a rational decision to be reached in order to have a National Minimum Wage that enjoys general acceptability.”