Chris Ngige, minister of labour, says employees cannot fix salary for their employers.
The minister said this in reaction to the demand of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) that the government should increase the minimum wage from N18,000 to N30,000.
The state government had proposed N20,000 while the federal government recommended N24,000 but labour stood its ground.
According to Samuel Olowookere, director of press in the labour ministry, Ngige said a figure that the employers can afford should be arrived at mutually.
The minister was quoted as saying it is important for labour to accept a new minimum wage based on the ability of both the government and the private sector to pay.
“We need to arrive at a figure which the employers can afford to pay as an employee cannot fix a figure for the employer. Rather, it must be based on mutual agreement by the tripartite partners,” the statement read.
“It is not a function of moving motions or voting at the National Tripartite Negotiation Committee that the figure must be as the organised labour appears to make it look.
“There is absolutely therefore no need to heat up the polity. The government’s proposed new minimum wage figure is clearly based on critical facts and indices incapable of causing disequilibrium in the economy.”
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