FG not ready to give figure on new minimum wage though report ready – NLC

The President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said this while fielding questions from newsmen on Monday in Abuja

The Nigeria Labour Congress says the Committee on National Minimum Wage is yet to agree only on a figure.
The President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said this while fielding questions from newsmen on Monday in Abuja.
According to Wabba: “At that meeting, we were able to complete the entire report.
“However, just before we concluded, the Minister of Labour (Chris Ngige) spoke at that occasion as a representative of the Federal Government, saying they needed to go and consult before arriving at a figure.
“We felt that since this committee was inaugurated in November and everybody was aware, all stakeholders should have tidied up whatever consultations they needed to do and make sure that we are able to work within that timeline.
“Clearly speaking, they were not prepared to produce a figure by that date.
“But our report has been completed.
“What is left is just to agree on a particular figure as minimum wage.
“All the parameters to be used to arrive at a figure are there.
“I can say clearly that states have sent in memorandums.
“In fact, 21 states sent in memorandums, with about 12 quoting figures, NECA (National Employers Consultative Association) has submitted a figure, organised labour has submitted a figure.
“With this new development, they are saying that they want to consult.
“We could say that it is not a fair process if somebody is saying at this point that he has not consulted.”
Wabba noted that the organised labour would meet formally and issue a formal statement and also see how they would ensure that the interest of the Nigerian worker was not in any way undermined.
According to him: “This is where we are and we think that it is proper that we put the fact before our members.
“Labour leaders have already called for our organ meetings where we will brief our members.
“Already, it is in public domain that both the government and labour agreed that the timeline must be respected and they were saying that September is not feasible.
“We are committed to respecting the timeline and that is why we left everything we are doing to do the needful to be able to do a good job.
“All the parameters you can think of have been considered and the report is ready.
“But the only thing missing is the issue of the figure.”
The NLC president also recalled that individual states had quoted figures and every state was given the opportunity to make its own presentation.
Wabba also noted that a letter was written to every state by the secretariat to send in their memo, making their inputs and 21 of them actually made inputs.
He said: “You are aware of the figures quoted by organised labour.
“We have enough data to do justice to the work and we have actually done justice to the work.
“I am telling you that this is what has happened.
“So there was enough time for everybody to make input.
“This should have been consummated but some people are saying they need time for consultation.
“We thought that should not have been the situation because of the importance of the issue to Nigerian workers and the workers can also not continue to be patient.”

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