By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah
The federal government has accused the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress for delays in constituting the tripartite committee expected to see to the implementation of the N56,000 new minimum wage.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour and Employment,Chris Ngige after the Federal executive council meeting presided over by acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa.
He said apart from the tripartite committee chairmanship position which government was yet to appoint, all other members of the committee expected to come from government side have been picked.
The Minister, however said the NLC and TUC were yet to submit list of their members that would also constitute the committee.
Ngige stated “On the issue of minimum wage, you were here in May when FEC approved the composition of the minimum wage committee. We have since then gone into action, government has approved its representatives which is the secretariat.
“The secretariat is domiciled at the National Council for Salaries and Wages Commission with the chairman there acting as secretary. We also have the Minister of Labour and Employment as Deputy Chairman, Minister of Finance, Minister of Budget and National Planning as members.
“The only appointee which is being awaited now is the chairman and we have concluded the process for the nomination. We are waiting for the requisite approval.
“The labour centers that is NLC and TUC are yet to bring their nomination, that is on the workers side. On the employers side, you know we have like a sub-unit. We have Nigeria Employers Consultative Assembly, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture.(NACCIMA), Small and Medium Scale Industry Association (SMSIA).
“These groups will give us nominations so we are waiting. Once these nominations are in place the President will proceed to inaugurate the committee”.
Ngige also announced a new labour policy code named the National Employment Policy to guide the administration.
He said the last employment policy approved in 2002 had become obsolete owing to the dynamics in the labour and employment industry.
He noted that prior to FEC approval, the policy was reviewed in 2013 with technical assistance from international labour organisations and major stakeholders in the sector.
“The last employment policy we have been operating in Nigeria was approved in 2002, that’s 14 years and In that 14 years a lot of things have changed,in labour and employment industry.
“Things like employment for people with disabilities,decent jobs programme and doing jobs without polluting the environment and other things that are new and contemporary in the labour market. This policy was reviewed in 2013 with technical assistance from international labour organisations and major stakeholders like employers were involved, workers,unions and this document was crystallised and this policy seeks to give decent jobs to people.
“Job creation is multi sectoral, it is not limited to one ministry,not limited to the public service alone and private sector is involved and this policy seeks to capture the relevant affected persons and people that will apply this so that we can fight unemployment and under employment”.
On her part Minister of State, Budget,Zainab Ahmed said her ministry presented the National Social protection policy, which is a framework which seeks to provide social justice equity and inclusive growth using a transformative mechanism for mitigating poverty and unemployment in Nigeria.
She recalled that the federal government since 2016 has started the social investment programme and each of the programme that have been rolled out including , the school feeding programme, N- power programme were drawn from this policy which is in a draft form at this time .
” What we have done is to submit to the council today, a policy that is largely inspirational, aspirational but seeks to ensure that every Nigerian gets at least a minimum of what is required in terms of human development and protection,” she added.
Jonathan Nda- Isaiah
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