Minimum wage: Labour begins protest Wednesday

Ismaila Sanni
Ismaila Sanni
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NLC members

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and other labour unions may begin a nationwide protest on Wednesday over the need to implement the new minimum wage as proposed by the tripartite committee set up by the Federal Government.

While the tripartite committee recommended N30,000, state governments have insisted that could pay only N22,500.

The National President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, made the plan to embark on strike known on Monday just as the Federal Government plans to meet with the union on Tuesday.

The workers had threatened to embark on the strike starting from Tuesday in case the new minimum wage was not implemented latest end of December 2018.

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Said Wabba shortly after a meeting between his union and the Federal Government on Monday:  “We will surely go ahead with the mass protest nationwide on Wednesday.

“The protest is about implementation, it has no link with the transmission. We are trying to see how the bill will be transmitted to the National Assembly.

“The protest is about how to get all parties committed to the issue of minimum wage, it is different from how we get this bill transmitted with timeline to the National Assembly.”

Also speaking after the Tuesday meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, said the government had made progress in its discussions with labour leaders.

He said it had been difficult to know when the bill for the new minimum wage would be passed to the National Assembly because of the protocols involved.

“We have to go to the Federal Executive Council with a council memo on the bill after that, we will go to the National Economic Council and the Council of State.

“But for the Council of State, the President has to look at his own time table and we will inform past Heads of State and Justice of the Federation. This can take two weeks.

“However, we are trying to see if we can accommodate all these meetings by next week because we cannot do Council of State meeting again this week.

“Immediately after that meeting (Council of State), we will transmit the bill,” Ngige said.

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