Minimum wage: Nigerian workers issue fresh ultimatum to FG

Labour makes fresh demand for higher minimum wage 

Labour unions in Nigeria on Thursday said that the Federal Government has till 31 December 2018 to send the tripartite committee report on N30,000 minimum wage to the National Assembly or face industrial action. 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC) disclosed this after their joint meeting in Lagos on Thursday. 

The union’s position came barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari said a “high powered technical committee” would be set up to device ways to ensure that implementation of the proposed N30,000 minimum wage did not lead to increased debt burden for the country.  

However, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said after the union leaders’ meeting that setting up a technical committee could not be a condition for passing the minimum wage report to the National Assembly.

He said, “We reject in its entirety the plan to set up another high powered technical committee on the minimum wage. It is diversionary and a delay tactics.

“The national minimum wage committee was both technical and all-encompassing in its compositions and plan to set up a technical committee is alien to the tripartite process.

“It is also alien to the International Labour Organisations’ conventions on national minimum wage setting mechanism.” 

The NLC President said that issues on payment of minimum wage was a law that was universal, citing that other African countries like, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa had increased their minimum wage this year.

“If you increase minimum wage, you are increasing the purchasing power of the economy which will help to reduce inflation rather than increase it,” he said. 

He urged workers to be vigilant and prepare to campaign and vote against politicians who are not willing to implement the new minimum wage.

Also speaking, ULC President, Joe Ajaero, said the Federal Government had no justifiable reason to withhold the report of the minimum wage committee. 

He said that all affiliate members of the organised labour had been informed to be alert ahead of the December 31 deadline issued to the government.  

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