Minimum Wage: Stakeholders meeting ends with binding Communique

Helen Shok Jok, Abuja

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The Organised Labour in Nigeria says its will not guarantee industrial harmony in any State that fails to commence action on concluding negotiation of the new National Minimum Wage by December 31st 2019.

This was contained in a communiqué at the end of the One Day stakeholders Meeting on the Implementation of the National Minimum Wage at the State Level organized by the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC.

The Communique was signed by the NLC President Comrade Ayuba Wabba, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, NLC General Secretary and Comrade Abdulrafiu  Adeniji National Chairperson, Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (Trade Union Side)

The meeting took note of the report from all the States and from the report, distilled three categories of scenarios on the implementation of the new national minimum wage and consequential adjustment of salaries which all the States fell.

These categories according to the document include States which have commenced the implementation and payment of the new national minimum wage. “These States include Kaduna, Kebbi, Lagos, Adamawa and Jigawa States (Jigawa had concluded negotiations but is yet to make its first payment to workers).”

States which have constituted a Negotiating Committee between their State Government and Labour on the consequential adjustment in salaries following the new national minimum wage. “These States include Borno, Abia, Kano, Bayelsa, Sokoto, Niger, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Katsina and Zamfara States.”

States which have not put in place a Negotiating Committee between the State Government and Labour on the consequential adjustment of salaries. “The States include Bauchi, Yobe, Rivers, Benue, Gombe, Kwara, Imo, Osun, Ekiti, Oyo, Anambra, Taraba, Cross River, Ogun, Enugu, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kogi and Delta States”, NLC said.

According to the communiqué, the meeting, “decided that Organized Labour in the States comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (Trade Union Side) would work in harmony to ensure that all workers enjoy the full benefit of the new National Minimum Wage.

“Each State should immediately convoke an emergency State Executive Council meeting and State Congress of all workers to brief them of the outcome of the stakeholders’ meeting on the new national minimum wage implementation.

“States that are still on the discussion table (Category 2) should expedite discussions to conclude the negotiations on or before the 31st of December 2019.

“States which have not commenced discussion should quickly constitute a Negotiating Committee and expeditiously conclude discussions on salary adjustment consequent on the new national minimum wage on or before 31st December, 2019.

“In the event that any State fails to comply with these resolutions on or before 31st December, 2019, organized labour would not guarantee industrial harmony in such States”, it said.

The meeting also commended the Federal Government and the States which have already commenced the implementation and payment of the new national minimum wage arising from negotiations with organized labour.

It appreciated and applauded directives by the Federal Government to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to pay the minimum wage arrears by 31st December, 2019.