Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba has explained why Labour is not involved in the Technical Committee on the Implementation of the national minimum wage being proposed.
The panel, the unionist stated, “is purely an internal arrangement of the Federal Government.”
Reacting to the inauguration of the committee by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, Wabba said the Minister of Labour & Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has already assured Labour that the committee was an in-house affair of the government and has nothing to do with Labour”.
Wabba informed that the government promised Labour to put in place processes of mobilising resources, adding that Labour had thought that the committee will renegotiate the minimum wage, “but we’re assured that it has nothing to do with that.”
Also reacting, General Secretary of the National Union of Textiles, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, Issa Aremu, said the committee should facilitate the full implementation of the negotiated N30,000 and not in any way undermine the implementation of the new minimum wage.
Aremu, who is a NEC member of NLC and labour representative on the National Income and Wages Commission, said the technical committee was mandated to anticipate the implications of the new minimum wage increase for the upward “salary review for all the workers who are already earning above the new minimum wage”, it was commendable.
He said it was reassuring “that President Muhammad Buhari reaffirmed commitment to the new minimum wage with the discussion with organised labour to send the Executive Bill to that effect before January 23rd.”
Aremu described as desirable that the representatives of Labour were parties to the implementation of what he called “critical labour market issues like minimum wage and salary review for other categories of workers earning above the minimum.
“Indeed ideally the best statutory committee to drive the mandate of the Bismarck Committee would have been National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission (NSIWC).”