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No Agreement On Increasing Minimum Wage Yet – Ngige

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Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment on Wednesday, clarified that the Federal Government and the organised labour had yet to reach an agreement on the new National Minimum Wage as being reported in the media.The minister said there was no truth in the claim that the three parties involved in the negotiation had agreed to increase the minimum wage to N30, 000. “I saw all your newspapers yesterday (Tuesday) awash with the news that we have all agreed on N30, 000. That is not true. The Federal Government has not agreed on N30, 000,” the minister declared. He explained that while the organised labour and the organised private sector agreed on N30,000; the Federal Government proposed N24,000 and state governors proposed N20,000. The minister said the fact that two parties – labour and private sector- – had agreed on a figure did not mean the figure had been accepted.The minister said, “If you could remember, the contentious issue as per that meeting was for figures to be fixed and we had all proposed our figures, but throughout the negotiations, figures were adjusted. The labour unions adjusted their figures and came down to N30, 000 per month; organised private sector also adjusted their figures from N25, 000 which they had earlier proposed to N30, 000. The issue of the minimum wage under Convention 131, the fixing mechanism takes that into account and also says that there must be a consensual agreement. So we have a figure of the Federal Government and the state governments have theirs. The state governments’ figure at the last time was N20,000, while the Federal Government had a figure of N24,000 and that was where we all stood. This negotiation took into account these irreducible offers on the different governments but we could not arrive at a consensus. Though we adjourned our meeting and said we would put up a report that would reflect this position, we are still continuing to discuss informally to see if we could arrive at a common figure.”ngigePhoto Credit: Getty

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