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Presidency Says Minimum Wage Demand Not Feasible For Some States
The Nigerian Labour Congress, TUC and ULC have agreed to commence on a nationwide strike on Tuesday, November 6 if their demands for an increase in the minimum wage of workers is not increased to N30,000.
According to the president in a statement made by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mustapha on Sunday, 4, some 27 states still had difficulty in paying N18,000 minimum wage.
He also mentioned that the consideration of the demands of the Nigerian Labour Congress, TUC and ULC were not just based on the welfare of the workers but also on how much effect it will have on the economy.
The secretary when asked about the reconciliatory meeting that the tripartite committee had boycotted, Premium Times reports, he said the meeting was part of the exercise that ought to be undertaken to ensure that there was a complete report to be submitted to the presidency on the issues relating to the minimum wage.
“Basically the only outstanding issue that needs to be dealt with is to harmonise the 5th chapter of the report and get the figures in for the purposes of submission to government,” he said.
Speaking further, the SGF said President Muhammadu Buhari, while inaugurating the tripartite meeting, called for a unanimous resolution at the meeting.
“Mr president went further to emphasise that the concern is not only for the welfare of the workers but also every other thing should be taken on board as it affects the country’s economy.
“So it is a balance of the welfare of the workforce with the effect of the new minimum wage and the economy,” he said
Quoting Buhari, the SGF also said: “We yearn to go above basic social protection for Nigerian worker but also tie to the ability to pay, because I know that a lot of states are even having difficulty meeting the basic minimum wage.”
Reports however showed that Peter Ozo-Esan, general secretary of the NLC, said they were not aware of any meeting.
“We (NLC) are not aware of any meeting with the SGF over any matter. A government that gets an injunction against us without putting us on notice until we heard from the press has shown enough bad faith.
“Even if we were aware, we would not be interested to attend any meeting. The meeting we are aware of, which we are going to attend, is the tripartite committee meeting tomorrow in Abuja. That’s the one we plan to attend. That is the official position,” he said.