Nigeria Reacts As Labour Issues 14-Day Ultimatum On Minimum Wage
The Federal Government has described the 14-day ultimatum issued by the organised labour as “a subtle blackmail” to stampede the Tripartite Committee on the new National Minimum Wage.
Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, made this known at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja, noting that the ultimatum was uncalled for.
The organised labour had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, to allow the tripartite committee conclude its work on the new national minimum wage.
The Labour leaders gave the ultimatum on Wednesday, stating that the National Minimum Wage Committee commenced work in March 2018 with timelines to deliver on its mandate by August/ September 2018.
They accused Ngige of delaying the process of arriving at a new minimum wage which workers had been expecting since 2016.
The union also accused the Federal Government of stalling the negotiation by failing to mention a figure as a new minimum wage for the Nigerian workers.
However, the minister has said it is not true that the Federal Government is trying to stall negotiations.
“The following facts speak in that direction, if the Federal Government is not interested why did Mr President inaugurate the Presidential Committee on the new National Minimum Wage.
“If it is not interested, Mr President would have asked me to do an inter-ministerial meeting, but Mr President took interest and set up a presidential committee.
“This Presidential Committee, he monitors it and I also brief him from time to time, both written and verbally.
“As a matter of fact, before the meeting adjourned last week, I have told the committee that the Economic Management Team could not hold.
This is due to the fact that most people in the team travelled with Mr President to China.
“Also if the Federal Government is not interested, why will l brief the entire tripartite committee and tell them that work is in progress, “he said.
The minister also noted that he had requested for two weeks from the committee to enable the Federal Government delegation consult with state government delegation.
“That means that the meeting can be called at any time, in one day or within three days which is still stipulated within the month of September.
“So it is very surprising to know that labour gave an ultimatum of 14 days to the Federal Government, this is uncalled for and a subtle blackmail to the Federal Government.”