By Joan Nwagwu
The Federal Government on Friday refuted the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) accusation of foot-dragging to constitute tripartite committee which is expected to deliberate on the proposed N56, 000 minimum wage for workers in the country.
Sen Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment said this in a statement signed by Mr Samuel Olowookere, Deputy Director of Press in the ministry.
Ngige said his attention had been drawn to publications in some section of the media, alleging the Federal Government of intentionally stalling the process of constituting a tripartite committee for the minimum wage.
“The above statement is false and misleading as the Federal Government has demonstrated its commitment to improving the welfare of the Nigerian workforce by holding series of meetings with stakeholders on the subject matter.
“The final meeting of the technical committee on new minimum wage was slated for 23rd February, 2017 but could not hold as scheduled.
“The Nigerian Labour Congress and its Trade Union Congress counterpart requested for a postponement of the meeting.
“This was in order to attend the delegate conference of National Union of Civil Engineering Construction/ Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW), at Asaba Delta State, ‘’he said.
He said that in demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment, a new date for the meeting of the technical committee on minimum wage has been scheduled for March 14 by 2:00pm at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).
The minister said that the new date had been communicated to both the government and worker’s representatives of the technical committee.
Ngige, therefore, said the allegation as ascribed to the NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, was `”mischievous and unfounded”.
“The NLC President is fully aware of the rescheduled meeting and the reason for the postponement of the earlier meeting which was at the instance of labour unions,” he added.