The Federal Government (FG) has implored the organized labour to accept the proposed N24,000 minimum wage citing the ability of the government and the private sector to pay.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, made the statement during a visit of the new Director-General of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Timothy Olawale, on a visit to his office on Friday in Abuja.
The Federal Government and the organized labour have been stuck at an impasse due to a lack of agreement on what the exact figure for the minimum wage should be.
The minister told the 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.
He also implored NECA to influence its sister bodies and the organized labour to accept the new wage offer which is agreeable to all the stakeholders involved.
According to him, Nigeria cannot afford rounds of labour crisis in this country, so it is imperative for organised labour to accept the new national minimum wage figure.
Ngige said, “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 noted that the government’s proposed new wage was based on critical facts and indices incapable of causing disequilibrium in the economy or upturning the national social order.
“The need for the establishment of more NECA offices across the country cannot be over-emphasised so that more employers’ associations can register with you.
“This is in line with the focus of our labour administration as well as in tandem with the economic policies of the present administration.
“The numerous private sector employers who are informal need to be brought on board the formalized private sector employers’ body,’’ he said.