Minimum wage: FG calls c’ttee meeting, Labour insists on May 31 deadline

Please share

LAGOS — Following Organised Labour’s insistence on downing tools and declaring a nationwide strike if discussions on the new National Minimum Wage are not concluded by May 31, 2024, the Federal Government has summoned a meeting of the 37-member Tripartite Committee on the New National Minimum Wage, NNMW, for today in a major effort to beat the deadline.

Recall that Organised Labour, under the platform of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and its Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, counterpart had on May 1, 2024, in a joint address during the May Day celebration at the Eagle Square, Abuja, warned that “if, however, the negotiation on the national minimum wage is not concluded by the end of May, the trade union movement in Nigeria will no longer guarantee industrial peace in the country.”

Determined to meet the deadline and avoid another round of nationwide industrial unrest, Vanguard gathered that the government, through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, NSIWC, which is the secretariat of NNMW, summoned a meeting of the Tripartite Committee NNMW, today, with the Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja, as a venue.

The invitation letter to the meeting, was gathered, was signed by the Secretary/ member of the Tripartite Committee NNMW, Ekpo Nta.

FG, OPS, states, others to make presentations

According to sources, among the agenda of today’s meeting are presentations by the Federal Government/states and Organised Private Sector, OPS, of their minimum wage proposals, as organized labour had already made its proposal of N615,000 wage demand.

There will also be a presentation by the NSIWC on the report of the income survey of the informal sector of the Nigerian economy 2023 and a report of the desk review of the remuneration survey of SMEs, conducted by SMEDAN/NBS 2013, 2017 and 2021.
It was learned that there will also be a presentation of the final report by the sub-committees on the new national minimum wage recommendation, appraisal of the implementation and effect of the extant National Minimum Wage Act on the national economy, exemptions and criteria for exemptions and implementation, monitoring, enforcement, frequency and mechanism for future review, among others.

The sources equally disclosed that there will be discussions on the sub-committees’ final reports and tripartite position on NMW, saying if everything goes well, there would be the composition of the subcommittees on report drafting and draft NMW Bill.

One of the labour leaders who is a member of the committee, told Vanguard: “The government is racing against time as organised labour will not shift the May ending deadline given to the government to conclude negotiations on the new NMW.
“We expect that full negotiation will commence in tomorrow’s (today) meeting because workers are really going through serious difficulties and hardship because of the anti-people policies of the government.

“We are on the same page with President Bola Tinubu on a living wage for Nigerian workers. We expect all members to help the President and ensure that his promise to give workers a living wage is realized.

‘The President has on several occasions, promised a living wage which was restated by the vice president during the May Day celebration in Abuja. Living wage ensures that workers’ salary meets their basic needs. That is why we proposed the N615,000 minimum wage.

“From the breakdown of the N615,000, you could see that there are no frivolities or luxuries. There are no provisions for calls, entertainment, community levies, church dues, and extended family expenses.

‘’As you are aware, at the time we proposed, the increase in electricity tariff was not done. The increase has added more burden to the workers. Stories across the country show that workers are in dire need of help. They are suffering, they are hungry, and they are in pain because of the government’s policies.

“We have made it abundantly clear that if the discussions on the minimum wage are not concluded by the end of this month, we cannot guarantee national industrial peace and we mean everything about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *