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FG Studying Labour’s Minimum Wage Demand — Ngige

The Federal Government Monday said it was carefully studying the recent demand for upward review of the national minimum wage by organized labour. The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC led by Ayuba Wabba, and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, sent a N56, 000 minimum wage to the Federal Government, and the Joe Ajaero-led NLC demanded for N90, 000.

 

 

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who stated this when he received the executive members of the Organisation of Trade Unions of West Africa, OTUWA, in Abuja, described the demand of the organised labour as a legitimate demand. According to him: “The other day, the labour requested for increased wages for workers and they have only done what they are supposed to do. Therefore, nobody will quarrel with them. At the appropriate time, we shall all sit down because what labour is asking, is for the re-negotiation of an existing Collective Bargain Agreement, CBA. Every CBA based on an agreement is subject to re-negotiation at any given time that any of the partners requests for it.”

 

 

Ngige dismissed insinuation that whenever the Labour made such a demand, it meant that the workforce was at loggerheads with the government, saying: “It is wrong for people to think that whenever the labour makes such a demand the nation is boiling. The labour in Nigeria has for the first time met a labour-friendly government under President Muhammadu Buhari. The government has put machinery in motion as we speak because I have got a letter as the Minister of Labour and Employment for my advice. We shall advise government the way the tripartite negotiation will be handled so that everybody will be satisfied without any industrial unrest. He added that Labour was part of the tripartite arrangement of the International Labour Organisation structure which Nigeria is signatory to. The minister commended OTUWA for fulfilling its roles as envisioned by the ILO.

 

 

Earlier, President of OTUWA, Comrade Mademba Sock, said the organisation in 2015 took far- reaching decisions to revive and re-position OTUWA, which though was established over three decades ago but still faced a lot of challenges. Sock said the decision to re-locate its headquarters from Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire to Abuja was to enhance its operations since the headquarters of ECOWAS is in Abuja. According to him, the body had a five-year strategic plan meant to galvanize its visions, function effectively and boost its merits for the benefits of the labour unions in the ECOWAS sub-region. A statement by Samuel Olowokere disclosed that Sock was  accompanied on the visit by  the factional President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Waba, Deputy President of OTUWA , Comrade  Demma Wright and the General Secretary ,  Comrade John Odah among others.

 

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