By Omotilewa Quadri
Organised Labour has reacted to claims by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige that the tripartite committee on the new National minimum wage was yet to agree on a figure with organised labour, but was still negotiating with them.
In a statement signed by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, Comrade Bala Bobboi Kaigama and Comrade Joe Ajaero, labour leaders said the Minister was being economical with the truth, pointing out that the committee arrived at a figure which is to be presented to the President.
He said the sub committee on figure chaired by the Minister presented four different figures, which the committee deliberated on for several hours before agreeing on a figure.
The statement said, “Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige claiming that no amount has been agreed by the Tripartite Committee recommendation to govemment. The report further claimed that the Minister said that government was still negotiating with labour.
“It is rather unfortunate and sad if indeed the Honourable Minister made those statements. For the avoidance of doubt, organised labour representatives wish to state unequivocally that the Tripartite Committee concluded its work, adopted a figure through a formal motion moved, seconded and adopted in the absence of any counter motion.
“This was after a thorough debate of a report from the subcommittee figure, chaired by Senator Ngige himself which presented four scenarios for consideration.
“The subcommittee worked on the basis of a figure proposed by the Federal Government, figures proposed by a number of state governments, as well as proposals submitted by the organised private sector and organised labour.
“The committee formally adjourned its sitting with a decision that a date will be communicated to members for the signing of the report and submission of same to Mr President.
Organised labour therefore frowns at the manipulation and bending of facts in an attempt to delay or derail the processes needed to promulgate a new National Minimum Wage. We call on the government to take immediate necessary steps to ensure the enactment of a new National Minimum Wage as we cannot guarantee industrial peace and harmony.”
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