Minimum Wage: No review in sight, says NLC

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Ayuba Wabba.
NLC President Ayuba Wabba.

By Chinyere Bassey

Mr Ayuba Wabba, the President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has blamed the delay in securing an upward review of the national minimum wage on the disunity in the organised labour.

Wabba spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday on the prospects of getting a review of the existing N18,000 minimum wage for workers.

The present N18,000 national minimum wage was signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan in March 2011.

“It is time to review the N18,000 minimum wage. If we had been united, this issue would have been resolved,’’ the NLC president said.

He said that since 2015, when the organised labour submitted a formal demand for the review of the minimum wage, no technical committee had been set up to look into the issue.

According to Wabba, the committee is to start the process of negotiations, where the concerned stakeholders will gather at a round table to drive the process.

“For the minimum wage to be reviewed, it has to be tripartite. The employers’ organisation will be present, government’s representatives and the organised labour,’’ he said.

The NLC president stressed that the current minimum wage could no longer sustain workers as the five-year cycle for review of workers income was due and the value of money had also depreciated.

He assured that there was hope of getting an increment in the minimum wage but added that workers must be ready to fight for their right.

“Everything that we have gotten as workers over the decades is through collective struggle. Government did not offer it on a platter of gold.

“These are the issues that have caused delay in resuming negotiation on review of new minimum wage for workers,’’ he said.

Wabba said that the Federal Government and labour could look at ways of implementing a new strategy for the new minimum wage with the economic recession not hindering the discussions.

“Labour is committed to driving the process of an increment in minimum wage for workers and we assure you that we will defend your interest.

“On the issue of recession, the NLC will soon arrive with an alternative to enable the government solve its economic problem,’’ the NLC president said.

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