PIQUED by the statement credited to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday over the issue of a new minimum wage, the Organized Labour said the minister lied, insisting that it is rather unfortunate and sad that the minister could make those statements.
A joint statement issued by the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, and the United Labour Congress (ULC) President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, said the Tripartite committee actually concluded its work and adopted a specific figure through a motion that was moved, seconded and adopted at the meeting.
Though the statement did not mention the figure adopted, but an impeccable source and one of the influential members at the meeting told TribuneOnline, that N30,000 was adopted at the meeting.
In fact, the source said it was the organized private sector, represented the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), that begged that the figure should be brought down to N30,000.
Another source told TribuneOnline that the organized private sector moved the motion that a common figure be adopted.
In the statement, the organized Labour said there was no counter motion when the motion was moved before it was seconded and adopted by all.
“The Tripartite Committee concluded is work, adopted a figure through a formal motion moved, seconded and adopted In the absence of any counter motion,” the statement said.
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Labour, therefore, warned of an impending crisis over the position of the minister, saying that it could no longer guarantee industrial peace.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige claiming that no amount has been agreed by the Tripartite Committee recommendation to government. The report Further claimed that the Minister said that government was still negotiating with Labour. It is rather unfortunate and sad if Indeed, the Minister made those statements.
“For the avoidance of doubt, organised labour representatives Wish to state unequivocally that the Tripartite Committee concluded is work, adopted a figure through a formal motion moved, seconded and adopted In the absence of any counter motion.
“This was after a thorough debate of a report from the subcommittee figure, chaired by Senator Ngige himself which presented four scenarios for consideration.
“The subcommittee worked on the basis of a figure proposed by the Federal Government, figures proposed by a number of state government: as well as proposals submitted by the Organised Private Sector and Organised Labour.
“The Committee formally adjourned its sitting with a decision that a date will be communicated to members for the signing of the report and submission of same to Mr President.
“Organised Labour, therefore frowns at the manipulation and bending of facts in an attempt to delay or derail the processes needed to promulgate a new National Minimum Wage.
“We call on the government to take immediate necessary steps to ensure the enactment of a new National Minimum Wage
as we cannot guarantee Industrial peace and harmony.”