New minimum wage: September deadline is sacrosanct – Labour insists
– Despite the federal government’s stance that the new minimum wage may not be possible in September, organised labour has insisted that it must be implemented
– The organised labour, as represented by Nigeria Labour Congress, said the September deadline is important
– The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, said it is not possible in September because of different processes that will go into the implementation
Organised labour has insisted that the implementation of the new minimum wage must begin in September, 2018 as earlier agreed by the labour and the federal government.
The labour made this declaration at the 107th session of the International Labour Congress (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland, Vanguard reports.
notes that the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, said that the September deadline was sacrosanct while the federal government said it was not realisable.
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Wabba told journalists at the conference in Geneva: “I have told you that at the tripartite committee, we all committed to a timetable and timeline which is known and everybody is aware of it.”
However, the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, said the implementation was not possible in September. He said: “The truth of the matter is that there is a work programme for the minimum wage committee. And by that schedule of work, we are supposed to terminate our own work in that committee first week of September. After you have done that, you will now take your recommendation to government.
“After doing that, the executive arm of government will take your recommendation to the Federal Executive Council because it concerns those in states, people in the state will now take it to National Economic Council, which is the council in charge of the economy of Nigeria.
“So these bodies will then look at the recommendation and then forward the final distillate to the National Assembly. It is the National Assembly that has power to make laws. But we can forward to them as executive bills. That is what the constitution says.
“So, I do not see all these taking place in September. That was why I said the date of September for a worker to receive new minimum wage is not feasible.
“That is not to say if everyone puts in their best and we put it on a fast track, we cannot consummate it before the end of the year. And when we consummate it before the end of the year, it has to be budgeted for. So, the money will go in either as supplementary budget or 2019 budget.”