Minimum wage: FG moves to avert nationwide strike

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Chris Ngige

The Federal Government has begun moves to prevent Nigerian workers carrying out their threat of embarking on a nationwide strike over the non-implementation of the new minimum wage.

It has scheduled a meeting with leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and other unions for Thursday.

The meeting will hold at the Ministry of Labour and Employment in Abuja.

This is according to the Director of Press in the ministry, Mr Samuel Olowookere, on Wednesday in Abuja.

His words:  “The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, is scheduled to hold a meeting with the Executives of the Organised Labour Union on Jan. 4, at the Minister’s Conference Room by 10:30 am prompt.”

It would be recalled that the labour union had vowed to commence a nationwide strike on January 8 to force the Presidency forward the N30,000 minimum wage recommendation by the tripartite committee to the National Assembly for approval.

The decision followed the declaration by President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a technical committee to consider the recommendation of the tripartite committee before sending it to the National Assembly.

In one of its statements recently, the NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, declared that the only way the government could avert a nationwide strike over the new minimum wage controversy in the new year was to do the needful.

The needful, according him was to ensure the approval and implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage recommended by the tripartite committee set up by the government.

His words: “It is unfortunate that the Federal Government is yet to transmit to the National Assembly an executive bill for the enactment of N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.

“Government’s dilly-dallying on the issue has strained Government-Labour relations with a potential for a major national strike which could just be days away.

“Accordingly, we would use this opportunity to appeal to the Government to do the needful by urgently transmitting the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly.

“We also would like to use this same opportunity to urge workers to fully mobilise for a prolonged national strike and enforce their right.”