We don’t want to make mistakes that ‘ll be fatal – – Ngige
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA -THE Organized Labour and the Federal Government negotiation team on the Consequential Adjustment on the new Minimum Wage early hours of today adjourned the meeting to 7pm.
The meeting earlier scheduled for 2pm on Wednesday started about 5pm when the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and the Minister of State, Festus Keyamo as well as the Head of Service, Dr. Folashade Yomi – Esan arrived after the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting.
It lasted till 2am on Thursday with intermittent breaks.
Speaking after the adjournment, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Ngige who is the conciliator said, “We have held our technical session, we broke into committees, we came back.
” We finally agreed on so many areas which hitherto we couldn’t agree on and we are adjourning the meeting. We are giving assignments on some people on both sides.
“They will go and do the work and get back to us. The work involves is enormous. So we are giving them the entire day to get back to us.
” Issues of money and wage adjustment as per different wage structures, we have about 12 wage structures presently in Nigeria. We don’t want to make mistakes that could be fatal and thereby put the exercise we have done in jeopardy.
“Therefore we have consentually agreed that we will reconvene this meeting at 7pm today. This will enable like I said earlier, those that we have given assignment to complete the assignments and bring them back to us.
“We are very okay with the meeting, it is moving on smoothly as you can see from the conviviality, it is very cordial, nobody is fighting. We have disagreed in some areas we have agreed. So let the work continue.”
Speaking in an interview, President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said,”It was a collective bargaining process that has lasted this long. Some progress have been made but we have not been able to conclude and have collective bargaining agreement.
“Some committees need to do some
computation. We have worked up to early hours of today. That is in the
true spirit of collective bargaining. That is what we have to do to get the process concluded.”
Asked if Nigerian workers should stay at home, he responded, “In collective bargaining, if a meeting is adjourned, you should know that that is not our practice. Our practice is that until we are able to conclude the issues and we are able to inform them (Nigerians)
” But not midway when we are making progress. We cannot abruptly disrupt the process. At the appropriate time we should be able to give details.”
On the percentage agreed, he said, “We cannot speak on the percentage until we finish the negotiation. The matters under consideration are implementation and consequential adjustment.”