Labour Urges Ngige To Avoid Creating Tension Among Workers.
The United Labour Congress (ULC) today have asked Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige, to explain his `double-speak’ on the planned new minimum wage, to avoid confusion on the issue.
Najia News recalls that Ngige On May 30, announced that the new National Minimum Wage would not be ready for implementation by the end of September, contrary to expectations by many Nigerians.
Ngige’s announcement appears to have dampened the morale of workers, who have seemingly been elated at the hope of a new minimum wage by September.
Nigeria currently operates a wage structure for civil servants, described as one of the lowest in the world, despite its position as Africa’s top oil-producing nation.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, the President of the ULC, Mr Joe Ajaero, told Ngige to clarify his statement to avoid creating tension among workers.
He said that the minister’s statement that the wage would no longer be paid in September amounted to double-speak on the matter. Ajaero described the minister’s statement as unfortunate, saying that he should have consulted with members of the tripartite committee on the minimum wage before making an announcement on the wage.
“We are not sure the stakeholders, who are members of the committee were consulted and this is undemocratic and lacks due process. “Our fear and worry is that the statement is laden with intentions.’’
Ajaero said there was need to be sensitive to the plight of Nigerian workers, who had been facing immense hardships over the years. The labour leader said it would not be good for any government official to frustrate the interest of workers, vowing that the labour movement would not accept anything that would affect workers adversely.
He subsequently assured workers that labour would continue to mount pressure on government to ensure that the committee submitted its report next month.