The delay in the announcement of a new national minimum wage means there could be trouble brewing between the organised labour and the representatives of the Federal Government (FG).
A resolution at a recent meeting by the tripartite committee led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige was inconclusive with no definite figure which triggered a fresh agitation within the organised labour.
The meeting which held on October 4 and 5 ended with the organised labour and the organised private sector agreeing on N30,000 while the FG team pressed for N25,000.
The conclusion was that since the organised labour and organised private sector are in agreement and in the spirit of tripartism, two against one was a done deal.
The meeting then adjourned to await the date for presentation to the Federal Government.
The organised labour said it is in the dark regarding what transpired with the government during the week after the meeting.
Ngige told the media at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, the FG proposed N24,000 as the new minimum wage for civil servants.
He also claimed that when the committee reconvened on October 5th, after the NLC had suspended its nationwide strike, “the organised labour came down to N30, 000 the organised private sector came down to N25, 000 while the state governments proposed N20, 000”.
He said in accordance with Convention 131 of the ILO, the most important thing to consider in fixing the new minimum wage is the ability to pay.
However, in a related development, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, said the organised labour is surprised by the latest stance of the minister.
He added that the organised labour would not hesitate to declare yet another strike action that would be debilitating to the nation’s economy should the Federal Government delays the promulgation of a new minimum wage within the shortest period of time.