Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Minister for Labour and Employment Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige has said that the federal government is working on a new minimum wage act which every Nigerian worker would be entitled to as well as payable by employers of labour.
The minister who gave an update on the move by the federal government to resolve labour issues in the country while speaking with journalists in Awka, disclosed that before the end of the current year, a new minimum wage act would be introduced by the government of the federation.
Although he noted that the remote cause of industrial disharmony was not a new salary structure for workers but a minimum wage that would be generally accepted as take-home pay to offset the needs of the Nigerian worker, he noted that the cost of living was high and the current 18,000 minimum wage was no longer enough to cater for the numerous needs of the workers.
Ngige also noted that government didn’t want to push the issue so hard such that employers of labour would not be able to pay workers and thereby resort to tactics like stabilizing personnel cost or what he described as declaration of redundancy so that some workers would be asked to go home in the interim and probably disengaged completely.
He said another tactics government abhorred was for employers not to say they could not promote their employees just to maintain personnel cost as government according to him wanted expansion in vacancy positions in order to replace out-going workers by recruiting new ones so that young graduates could get employment.
The labour minister also stated that the federal government was currently having a lot of dialogue with the organized labour and they were all in agreement that the tripartite minimum wage committee would reconvene on 4th and 5th of October, 2018 to further discussion on resolving the on-going industrial dispute between federal government and the organised labour.
He also said that the national economic management team was working in conjunction with the National Salary, Income and Wages Commission capturing workers In the public service and private sector respectively for them to analyze as well as give a financial projection.
Ngige however noted that the federal government was aware of the amount proposed by labour as well as what the state governors and the presidency agreed upon adding that before long Nigerian workers would heave a sigh of relief.