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Minimum wage: NECA commends FG, Labour for embracing dialogue

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has lauded the Federal Government and labour leaders for embracing dialogue in resolving issue of consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage.

The NECA Director-General, Mr Timothy Olawale, on Friday in Lagos, also lauded both parties for averting the industrial action.

The New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the government and the organised labour had on Oct. 17 reached an agreement over the new minimum wage.

Disagreement over how the new minimum wage law signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in April would be implemented had lingered for months with the organised labour threatening to go on strike.

The parties at end the joint meeting agreed on the following adjustment: GL 7, 23.2 per cent; GL 8, 20 per cent; GL 9, 19 per cent; GL 10 to14, 16 per cent, and GL 15 to17, 14 per cent.

Olawale said: “The fact that the government and organised labour embraced social dialogue in resolving issue of minimum wage consequential adjustment in the public sector, rather than embarking on strike is commendable.

”It is a veritable learning point for our industrial relations system and good precedent to build upon in future.”

He urged the government to abide by its contents, pointing to the fact that the new National Minimum Wage was signed into law in April 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The director-general said that implementation of the consequential adjustment would definitely improve the purchasing powers of Nigerian workers.

“Organised labour also need to roll up their sleeves for improved productivity, as the nation needs all hands to be on deck to come out of the present economic challenges.

“The time is ripe to ensure and align reward system with productivity in the workplace, and this should be applicable in both the private and public sectors in the country, ” he said.

Olawale said that the national minimum wage mechanism was not for a general salary review, but a process to fix an amount below which no employer should pay its least paid workers.

“There are mechanisms in the private sector, which allow for salary review on periodic basis and this has stabilised the sector.

“The employers in the private sector should not pay below the N30,000 national minimum wage.

“I urge all parties in Industrial Relations process to maximise the provisions of the law, especially the conflict resolution machinery rather than industrial actions,” he said.

Source: NAN

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