The Federal Government and organised labour unions in the country on Tuesday finally reached an agreement on the transmission of an executive bill of a new Minimum Wage by the Federal Government to the National Assembly after three days of meetings.
The agreement came on a day that labour unions staged a protest rally all over the country over the transmission of the bill to NASS by the FG. Unlike other meetings, the Tuesday meeting lasted fewer hours. However, president of Trade Union Congress, Kaigama Bobboi, warned that if the FG reneged on the date it promised to transmit the bill to NASS, labour would take action without any warning.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Nigige, who presided over the meeting at his ministry, said the FG would send the bill to NASS on January 23, 2018, after members of the National Assembly must have resumed from their recess. He added that necessary meetings on the part of the FG would be held next week to ensure the timeline was met.
The minister said, “As for the transmission of the executive bill to the National Assembly, the government will religiously implement all the processes that will enable us to transmit this bill within the stipulated time.
“We have a target time of January 23, 2018, and we hope that all things being equal, the government will be able to do so. We will take all statutory meetings of the Federal Executive Council, National Economic Council and the National Council of State meetings to enable us transmit the bill on the new national minimum wage. I thank the labour unions for their understanding and appeal to them that the threats should come down. Protests are no longer necessary.”
While thanking Ngige for his role in the issue, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, said workers had been patient with government for more than two years and that after the submission of the report by the tripartite committee that deliberated on the minimum wage two months ago, it was expected that the FG would have gone beyond the present stage of making effort to transmit a bill to NASS.