By Victor Akaa, Abuja
The minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige has appealed to all state governors to cooperate with the organised labour in the course of negotiations and to reach a most suitable agreement for an effective implementation of the new national minimum wage at the state level.
Sen. Ngige made the appeal during a one day stakeholders meeting of the organised labour on the implementation of the minimum wage at the state level yesterday in Abuja.
According to him, the meeting was to strengthen the collective bargaining mechanisms as well as setting the framework for dialogue and peaceful resolution in the course of negotiating the implementation of the new minimum wage, and it’s attendant consequential adjustment at the state level.
The minister who was the Guest of Honour in the occasion was represented by Franca Adiekwe said, the need for the implementation has therefore became necessary to maintain and promote peace and industrial harmony in the work place which is critical to the social economic of workers and the country.
He there employed all stakeholders including the NLC at the state council to work assiduously with the social partners most especially through organised private sector to come up with agreement that will graduate into an effective and sounding implementations across the states through collective bargaining process.
Speaking earlier, the president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) comrade Ayuba Wabba recalled that, “it is pertinent to note that before 1981, Nigerian workers had no structured minimum wage and were subject to the whims of their employers. Since the first minimum wage of N125 was passed into law, there was no comprehensive overhaul of previous Minimum Wage Acts until 2019”.
Wabba further said, the pace for the national minimum wage and consequential adjustment has been set across board, what is left is for the states to key into the pace.
He further recalled the challenges of the implementation at the state level, noting that the state governors were not sincere with the actual data of the workers in their various states.
Comrade Wabba also expressed dissatisfaction at the level of injustice and lack of equity displayed by politically elected officials on the payment of wages to the deserving workers but only care about their personal interest, saying the both of them go to the same market.
The aim of the stakeholders meeting according to him was to design a roadmap as well as review activities of state governments to fast-track the implementation of the workers new minimum wage.
Giving his good will message, the Vice President, NLC and President of Nigerian Union of Nurses, Comrade Abdulrafiu Adeniji called for a resourceful and fairly implementation of the new national minimum wage at the state level.
The event was attended by both national leadership of labour as well as state council chairmen of NLC, permanent secretaries, amongst others.