Minimum Wage: Labour, Fed govt make progress- NLC President says – Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, has confirmed that the organised labour had a useful discussion with the federal government on Tuesday and promised they would reconvene on Wednesday to finalise talks on the new national minimum wage.
He said that labour leaders had consulted and agreed to meet with the government on Wednesday by 1p.m to ensure that the processes for the transmission of the bill on the minimum would be completed without further delay.
But he said that the labour would 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,” he added.
Earlier, Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said after the closed door meeting with labour on Tuesday in Abuja that they made progress and explained that a definite date to transmit the bill to National Assembly will be known by Wednesday.
The National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC had threatened to embark on a nationwide protest on January 8, if the Federal Government failed to transmit the bill on minimum wage to the National Assembly.
The organised labour gave the threat following President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that a “high powered technical committee” would be set up to device ways to ensure that minimum wage implementation did not lead to an increase in the level of borrowing.
“It has been difficult to arrive at a date because there are processes to follow on the bill.
“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,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting which started about 9:05 p.m ended at 11: 56p.m.(NAN)