Minimum Wage: Negotiations still ongoing, no to N30,000 Says Labour Minister

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The Nigerian government says negations are still ongoing towards the new national minimum wage for workers. Labour and Employment Minister, Dr Chris Ngige disclosed this to journalists at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday, while briefing them on the outcome of this week’s cabinet meeting.

According to the Minister, “The organised labour called off its strike on Sunday 30th September and the tripartite committee on minimum wage reconvened its meeting on the 4th and 5th of this month and we had adequate representation of all the three partners. The contentious issue for that meeting was for figures to be fixed and we had had all proposed our figures but throughout the negotiation figures were adjusted.

The Labour unions adjusted their figures and came down to N30, 000. The organised private sector also adjusted their figure form N25, 000 which they had earlier proposed to N30,000. The Federal government is carrying on its own team the state Governors so it’s a bi-focal arrangement when it comes to the Federal government.

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The Governors had their own figure different form that of the Federal government and both figures were also presented at the meeting because the issue of minimum wage under convention 131, which had to do with the capacity to pay, the fixing mechanism takes that into account and also that there must be a consensual agreement. So the state governments figure was N20, 000 and that of the Federal government was N24, 000 and that was where we all stood.”

The Labour Minister said the meeting took into consideration all the offers by parties involved in the negotiation but could not arrive at a consensus. He said the meeting was adjourned and it was decided that a report be put up, reflecting the positions of all the parties.

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“We are still continuing to discuss informally to see if we can arrive at a common figure. This information becomes very pertinent because I saw in the papers yesterday, awash with the news that we have all agreed on N30, 000. That is not true. The Federal government has not agreed on N30, 000,” he said.

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