By Gloria Ehiaghe
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has given the Federal Government 11 days to transmit the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly, saying industrial peace and harmony would not be guaranteed in the country if their demand is not met before 31st December.
At a press conference yesterday in Lagos, the National President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, in the company of other labour leaders, including Bobboi Kaigama of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joe Ajaero of United Labour Congress (ULC), said two months since the submission of the report by the tripartite committee, which included a bill, it had not been submitted to the National Assembly for passage into law.
The labour leaders warned that the notice served was a signal for the organised labour to recall its suspended nationwide industrial action.
They insisted that the technical committee to be set up by the Federal Government is alien to the tripartite process and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions on national minimum wage setting mechanism.
They described the plan as diversionary and a delay tactic, arguing that the national minimum wage committee is both technical and all-encompassing in its compositions.
“Patiently we have waited. This is the appropriate time to discuss workers’ issues, because they want to know the fate of their interest on the new wage. This is about issue-based contestation, ” Wabba said.
He dismissed insinuation that the new wage would lead to inflation, saying it would rather improve on the economy.
Wabba listed some countries that have implemented new minimum wage. He cited South Africa, who is about going into recession, but has implemented a N120,000 new minimum wage.
On the technical committee, Kaigama said: “Labour will not be part of the committee. For us, this matter is closed. It is like putting the cart before the horse. We have concluded all processes because the state governments were part of the tripartite committee. So, what are the new issues after a report has been submitted?”