By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, yesterday called for quick resolution of all issues delaying the payment of the new N30, 000 Minimum Wage.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new minimum wage on April 18 this year, but disagreement between labour and government over consequential adjustment of wages has caused a delay in the payment of the new wage.
Though there has been a Committee on the Consequential Adjustment, the government and Labour representatives have not been able to agree on percentage.
Speaking to State House correspondents after meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Director-General of NECA, Timothy Adewale, said both parties must adopt the principle of give-and-take to resolve the issue.
Adewale who led members of NECA to the meeting said, “What we have advised us that in negotiation, the principle of giving and take is important.
“They must not be fixated with their position; in other words, you move positions and meet at an agreeable position.
“You can arrive at a win-win situation and that is what we have been urging the two parties that in the interest of those workers that are very expectant, there is a need for both parties to arrive at a conclusion in the first week of September.”
According to him, almost 80 per cent of organised businesses were already paying higher than the N30,000.00 minimum wage.
He said one of the items on the agenda of the meeting between NECA and the vice president was “the issue of regulatory bodies that are working at cross purposes.”
He noted that it would be against the ease of doing business being championed by the Office of the Vice President and the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC.
He said, “What we are saying is that we may not have access to the Office of the Vice President every now and then to escalate issues for his attention.
“And while also we do not want to be running to the court to seek relief because of the issue of non-accessibility of some of the chief executives of some these regulatory bodies, we want a situation where there is a clearing desk on the Office of the Vice President, where we can escalate these issues and they are resolved amicably in the interest of national development and national economy.”
Adewale said that the PEBEC has been able to handle these issues and ensured enabling business environment, but pointed out that all regulatory bodies have not keyed into the initiative.
He said, “As of fact, much business has been made but what we are saying is that it is not all regulatory bodies of government that are on the same page with the government on the desirables.
“We have instances where some of them shut down businesses without recourse to dialogue; we have instances where there have been infractions or interventions from these agencies of government outside their enabling Act-the law setting them up.
“What we are saying is the rule of law must be respected; even when you have cases in court and there is restraining order; we have instances where some the regulatory bodies go against such restraining orders and still go ahead to disrupt businesses.”
He said that the vice president agreed that the idea of clearing desk “is doable” and that he was desirable of working closely with the private sector.