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LABOUR MATTERS

Minimum wage: Osinbajo To Preside Over Special Meeting Tuesday

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, will next week Tuesday preside over the Economic Management Team meeting, specially dedicated to the contentious issue of minimum wage.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige,  after he and the chairman of the negotiation committee, Ms Amma Pepple, a former Head of Service of the Federation, briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the progress so far made by the committee on Friday.

Recall that the organised labour has accused the Federal Government of stalling the negotiation by failing to mention a figure as a new minimum wage for the Nigerian workers.

On its part,  the Federal Government has described Labour 14-day ultimatum as “a subtle blackmail” to stampede the Tripartite Committee on the new National Minimum Wage.

However speaking to State House correspondents yesterday, Ngige said “Next week we have an economic management team meeting on Tuesday, specially dedicated to the issue of national minimum wage to be chaired by the Vice President. For anybody to say that this government is stalling or playing games will be uncharitable, because, we have done what we are supposed to do.

We have the interest of workers at heart, we have not retrenched anybody, there is no embargo on employment, there is no embargo on promotions, we are paying backlog of promotional arrears, we are backing backlog of transfers and repatriation and the rest of them and we are giving them houses under FISH and the rest of them.

“So this government is a labour friendly government and we must put smiles on their faces before the next election…we are labour activists we don’t want to turn our backs on them.”

Pepple on her part said the committee will submit its report before the month end, adding however that they need a definite figure from government.

She said  “Everything is on course but we need a definite figure from government and of course we have to carry the states along. So, we need those figures so that we can conclude on the figures we include in our report.”

On how soon the new minimum wage will be ready, she said  “This month. At least I expect our report will be ready this month. We are submitting our report to Mr. President this month.”



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