Stakeholders meet on implementation of minimum wage

Helen Shok Jok, Abuja

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A one day stakeholders’ meeting on the implementation of the National Minimum Wage at the State level has been held in Abuja on Wednesday.

The meeting was convened by the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC with all the State NLC Chairpersons, employers and government representatives present.

The gathering addressed what the NLC called the perennial problem in every negotiations meant to review the National Minimum Wage in Nigeria.

 

President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, while addressing the participants, said no worker in Nigeria should be denied the national minimum wage. 

 

He emphasized the need for all levels of government in the country to be on the same page on the issue of a new National Minimum Wage for workers.

“We have called a meeting of all the State Council Chairpersons of the Nigerian Labour Congress as well as the Joint Public Service Negotiation Council and also the Head of Service of selected States of the federation, its actually a social dialogue process that we want to take stalks of where we are in every States and we will also be able to take some decision so that the implementation can be done seamlessly because we don’t want any worker to be left behind.

 

“We all go to the same market and certainly the economy affects all category of workers and our expectation is that this ,meeting will be able to serve as a guide and also give them the necessary technical know how to be able to go and drive this process effectively so that we can be able to conclude at the process of implementing the national minimum wage at the State Council level”, Wabba said.

 

The NLC President insisted that the payment of the National Minimum Wage must take effect from April 18th 2019, the day President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Bill into law.

 

“All of us are aware that from the day the President signed the minimum wage law act into law, it  becomes enforceable, its can’t be enforced through a Court of Law and certainly there is no excuse for any State to say that it is not going to respect a law that is actually base on the Constitution.

 

“The national minimum wage is actually a constitutional issue, so clearly its about respecting our laws and also respecting  International convention and procedures but importantly its to respect the principles of tripartism  and social dialogue in addressing industrial relation issues”, he said.

 

Later in an interview, the President of the NLC, Mr Ayuba Wabba told Voice of Nigeria that the meeting was important to put every machinery in motion for the implementation of the New National Minimum Wage at the State level before the end of the year to avoid undue arrears of the wage.

 

In a message, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, tasked the trade union movement in Nigeria to work with the private sector towards the implementation of the new wage at the State level.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on April 18th 2019, signed a new National Minimum Wage of 30,000 Naira into law.