The Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said that the Organised Labour cannot fix a figure to be paid for Federal Government. He said this while calling on Organised Labour to accept the new minimum wage proposal, considering the capacity and ability of the government and the private sector to pay.
Ngige made the call when the new Director-General of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, Timothy Olawale, visited his office on Friday in Abuja The Minister had earlier, while labour leaders were threatening to call out workers for full strike over the minimum wage issue, said that the Federal Government had offered to pay N24, 000 to the workers.
But, the workers’ leaders countered, saying that N30, 000 was the amount agreed on by the committee saddled with the responsibility. Ngige pointed out to NECA DG that it was imperative for organised labour to accept the proposed figure instead of the N30, 000 in line with social dialogue and the overall interest of the nation. “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 collective bargaining and mutual agreement by the tripartite partners. “It is not a function of moving motions or voting at the National Tripartite Negotiation Committee to insist that the figure must be as the organised labour appears to make it look. “There is, therefore, absolutely no need to heat up the polity,” he said.