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Minimum wage: Nigerian govt meeting with labour inconclusive

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The federal government says it will continue negotiation with organised labour on Monday to prevent the threat of strike action.

Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, said this after meeting with labour leaders on Friday in Abuja.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had threatened to embark on a nationwide protest on January 8 to make government transmit the tripartite committee report on the N30,000 minimum wage to the national assembly.

Commenting on Friday’s sit-down, Ngige said: “We are continuing the meeting on Monday and we are making progress. We have made substantial progress. That is progress in terms of transmission of the new national minimum wage.

“So, we are discussing on ways to fast track and we are taking appropriate steps as required by us by law.

“Mr President is more committed to this as he was the one that set of the tripartite committee on the minimum wage and even inaugurated them and also put in all the resources.”

Ayuba Wabba, NLC president, said organised labour believes in social dialogue in resolving industrial relations.

He said: “We have had a social dialogue bothering on the national minimum wage as you are aware and the meeting decided to adjourn and reconvene on Monday for us to do further consultations before the issues are concluded.

“We have discussed all the issues and all the areas, particularly how we can ensure that the issue is put behind us. That is why we took such a long time, including having a time out to consult.

“But we have not been able to conclude and we have agreed to reconvene to tidy the process. The issue at stake is to make sure that the bill is transmitted and also other auxiliary issues that government says it is trying to put together.

“We also want to see how the money gets into the pockets of our workers because a lot of economic factors have affected the current wage. But the major issue is that we have been able to have a meaningful social dialogue.

“But the process is not conclusive and we will reconvene on Monday. Monday is not too far from now since today is Friday. So, I expect you to be available to get the decision by Monday. The rallies on Tuesday will be determined by Monday’s meeting.”

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