The struggle for a new national minimum wage seems to have taken another dimension as the Nigeria Labour Congress reacted to the statement by President Muhammadu Buhari that a technical committee will be set up to ensure that its implementation does not after the fiscal budget.
President Buhari, while making the 2019 budget presentation to the National Assembly on Wednesday, has said that he is committed to a new minimum wage, however, to avoid the situation where its implementation will lead to higher borrowing to fund the fiscal budget, he will be setting up a high power fiscal committee to look into it and advise the government. Read details here: Breaking: Minimum Wage Is In 2019-Budget – Buhari
However, speaking shortly after the budget presentation, the President of NLC reject any further review of the agreed N30,000 minimum by a technical committee.
Wabba insisted that as far as the labour movement was concerned, the issue of new minimum wage figure was settled by the tripartite committee, which concluded negotiations on the matter and submitted its report to the president.
“We cannot accept the use of any technical committee to look into the already agreed N30,000 minimum wage.
“The president promised to pass the report to lawmakers a week after it was presented to him.
“Once the tripartite committee has met and agreed on an amount, no other committee can meet on the same issue,’’ Wabba said.
The NLC president said the organised labour is scheduled to meet next week to take a final decision on the issue.
On his part, the President of the United Labour Congress (ULC), Joe Ajaero, also kicked against the proposed technical committee.
He said the tripartite committee had considered the ability of the state governments to pay the N30,000 before agreeing on it.
“We (labour) have resolved to fight for the new minimum wage even after the upcoming general elections. There would be no retreat or surrender until workers receive the wage,” he said.
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