Minimum Wage: FG, Labour Meeting Ends in Deadlock

The meeting between the Federal Government and leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over a new minimum wage for workers in the country ended inconclusively as both parties agreed to continue their discussions on Monday next week.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, led a delegation of other ministers including Mrs Zainab Ahmed (finance) and Mr Udo Udoma (budget and national planning) to the meeting aimed at averting the proposed protest by the workers who have demanded a minimum wage of N30,000.

The National President of NLC, Mr Ayuba Wabba, told reporters at the end of the meeting which lasted for hours that the outcome of the discussion next week would determine labour’s next step.

“We have not been able to conclude and we have agreed to reconvene on Monday, to be able to tidy up the process,” he said.

“The issue is about making sure that the (National Minimum Wage) Bill is transmitted and other auxiliary issues that the government said it is trying to put together. We also want to see how the money gets into the pockets of our workers.”

On his part, the labour and employment minister insisted that the government was keenly interested in transmitting the new minimum wage recommendations to the National Assembly.

“If the President (Muhammadu Buhari) is not committed to it, he won’t put up the National Minimum Wage Committee in the first instance. He did so, inaugurated it, and provided it with the equipment to work,” Ngige said.

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