The federal government yesterday agreed to transmit an executive bill of the recommended N30.000 National Minimum wage to the National Assembly by January 23rd, 2019 for enactment into law.
Minister of labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige disclosed this after a meeting with the Organised Labour and said it would be after the necessary processes of going through all the channels.
He said meetings of Federal Executive Council, National Economic Council and the National Council of State would be call soon to enable us transmit the bill on the new national minimum wage.
According to him: “As for the transmission of the executive bill to the National Assembly, the government will religiously implement all the processes that will enable us transmit this bill within the stipulated time.
“We have a target time of January 23, 2019 and we hope that all things being equal, government will be able to do so. We will take all statutory meetings of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), National
Economic Council and the National Council of State to enable us transmit the bill on the new national minimum wage.”
The minister called on the labour unions to suspend the ongoing protest, adding that such is no longer necessary.
“I thank the labour unions for their understanding and appeal to them that the threats should come down. Protests are no longer necessary.”
Responding, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said labour had made lots of sacrifices and such should be respected by government keeping to the agreed date.
He said the movement is always open for social dialogue, adding that is why labour asked for commitment so we don’t come round the cycle.
“We thank the role of the minister of Labour and Employment to get this process to where it is. We have made a lot of sacrifice and commitment spending three days on meetings on this issue.
“We have finally been able to reach a clear understanding on the processes and timeline for this bill to be transmitted. We are committed to the process and hope that the timeline will be respected.
“We will put this across to our organs and give them all the details contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
You will recall that our demand is for the bill to be transmitted to NASS. We want a firm commitment so that we don’t come round a cycle.
“We want the agreement to be documented and signed by government representatives. With that, we can follow up on the process. This thing has been on the table for more than two years and having
submitted the report, we expect that the bill should have been submitted.
“The NASS will be back on January 16 from their recess, so, on or before January 23, the bill must have been transmitted. We know that the NASS are desirous of making sure that workers in Nigeria have
decent wage, they will also be able to do the needful. We will shift our lobby to the NASS because once the bill is enacted; the money will be in the pocket of the workers.
“Issues of industrial relations are always addressed at the round table. We have been diligent in the whole process and workers have been patient. Clearly, we have carried them along, that is why whenever we want them to be around, they are always around.”