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19th January 2020
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Nigerian Labour Union suspend their initially planned strike

Ozo-Eson: Labour rejects FG approved N27,000 Minimum wage
Ozo-Eson: Labour rejects FG approved N27,000 Minimum wage

The Nigerian Labour Union has suspended their planned strike, after reaching an agreement with Government on a new minimum wage, which will be announced by the Federal Government later today, 4:30 pm.

The National Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, made this announcement late Monday morning, at the end of an emergency meeting with tripartite committee where they announced the suspension of the initially planned strike. He said:

“Having reached this position and agreements signed, the proposed strike action is hereby suspended” he said the new figure will be made public after the committee’s report would have been presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by 4.30pm on Tuesday, 6th November 2018.

Labour in an earlier meeting of a tripartite committee set up to arrive at an agreeable minimum wage template, failed to reach an agreement with Government and State Governors over a new minimum wage, which they pegged at N30,000 while the federal government insisted on N24,000.

The Labour Union had maintained their stance and had threatened to shut down the economy on Tuesday if the Government does not agree to their demands, and as at the time of writing this report, both parties have reached an agreement of N30,000 naira minimum wage.

The head of the tripartite Committee set up by the Federal Government Amma Pepple while speaking on the issue said:

“We have concluded and we have a little challenge with what we call Chapter 5 of our report, that is where we have the numbers and the figures we used for the negotiations and the figures that we concluded with and the committee has two figures: the N24, 000 suggested by the federal government and the N30, 000 given by the organized labour.

“There is no stalemate. We have finished and we have signed it but we are insisting that the strike must be called off. There are still two figures, N24, 000 and N34, 000. You know that labour came up with a figure of N66, 500 but when we put all that together with the figure we got from the states…so, we put all that in a basket plus the initial figure that the federal government recommended which was N20, 700. We put them together in a basket and came up with four scenarios, we worked with one of the scenarios and that was how we agreed on that N24, 000 and N30, 000 respectively”, said

Asked on what the committee was going to submit, she said both figures would be forwarded to the president.

On his part, Labour and Employment minister, Chris Ngige said the committee was working to secure an appointment with President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that its resolution would be passed to the Federal Executive Council, then the National Economic Council and later the National Council of State after which the president would initiate an Executive Bill to be transmitted yo the National Assembly.

He said; “We are making progress. The governors’ figure should be the figure of the federal government. We are just trying to carry them along. That is why we made the discussions ‘tripartite plus’. It is just because we want to carry them along, otherwise the federal government speaks for governments. Yes, the figures are standing but we know that there are other processes. It has to go through the Federal Executive Council, the National Executive Council and the National Council of State, then an Executive Bill will be transmitted to the National Assembly”.

Asked if the two figures would pass through those processes, he said; “Yes, because the federal government figure is noted and is also weighty because it says that it depends on the ability to pay, affordability and sustainability.

“Labour are quiet satisfied, we are doing the needful, we have passed the rubicon. The only aspect of it now that we need to do is to fix an appointment for the handing over of the report to Mr President. We are reconvening tonight because that appointment has to be gotten because the president has gone home. He is not just sitting down in the office. If we get the appointment now, we will reconvene later and agree on how to proceed.

“The governors have no choice now because they have attached themselves to us because we are the supreme sovereign, they are minor sovereigns”, he added.

The Chairman of the committee, Amma Pepple, expressed delight that their assignment had been concluded. She said:

“I am happy to report to you that we have concluded our assignment and we will submit our report to the President by 4.30pm on Tuesday.
We will reveal the figure at the presentation,” She said.

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