Following the federal government’s announcement that it has proposed N24,000 as the minimum wage for civil servants after consultations, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) said it will hold an emergency meeting next week to take a decision.
The general secretary of NLC, Peter Ozo-Esan, in an interview with Journalists on Wednesday night said the committee adopted (through a motion) to recommend N30,000 naira as the minimum wage and that motion was moved and seconded by members from the labour union and the employers’ representatives.
The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, on October 10 after Federal Executive Council meeting debunked media reports quoting the president of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba that the tri-partite committee discussing the demand for a new minimum wage has agreed to increase it from the current N19,200 to N30,000.
“Such information is not true,” Mr Ngige said
But Mr Ozo-Esan said the tripartite committee adopted a figure and “that is the only relevant thing in the issue”.
“If Ngige is manufacturing something that was not agreed at the table, that is his problem. We have called our organs for an emergency meeting that will hold next week and the next step will be taken from there. We have no business with Ngige’s falsehood and his falsified process of the committee work,” he said.
Earlier, the national president of United Labour Congress (ULC), Joe Ajaero, on October 16 said the labour unions would not sign any agreement with the federal government on new National Minimum Wage if it is less than N30,000.
“N24,000 can never be the new Minimum Wage for workers. If the government pays it, then it is an award,” Mr Ajaero said.
Mr Ajaero said the tripartite committee agreed that N30,000 would be paid at the end of its negotiations
He said it was sad that N30,000 was adopted by the tripartite committee “but the representatives of government announced N24, 000”.
The labour leader said the unions would stand against it and would not sign any document, which does not reflect the true deliberation by the tripartite committee.
The NLC had initially proposed a N50,000 minimum wage for workers, a move opposed by many state governors, many of whom are unable to regularly pay the current N18,000 minimum wage.
Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has also approved the implementation of the no work, no pay principle for striking workers.
Mr Wabba has, however, said the federal government cannot apply the’ no work no pay’ rule in isolation of other provisions of the law that allow the rule.