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Minimum wage: FG says N24,000

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NLC insists on N30,000

THERE are strong indications that federal government has opted to settle for N24,000 as the new minimum wage for workers in its employment, following series of consultations with organised labour.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, dropped this hint yesterday while fielding questions from newsmen after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

Ngige said government hinged this proposal on Convention 131 of International Labour Organisation (ILO) which stipulates that the most important thing to consider in fixing the new minimum wage is the ability to pay.

The minister also used the forum to debunk reports quoting President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, as saying that the tri-partite negotiating committee agreed to increase new minimum wage to N30,000 as “not true,” adding that when the committee reconvened on October 5, after NLC had called off its strike, “organised labour came down to N30,000, while organised private sector stopped at N25,000.”

According to him, federal government had consulted with the 36 state governors after which it proposed N24,000 while governors marking up to N20,000.

But a source said that NLC was not going anywhere below its demand for N30, 000 new minimum wage, stressing that “Federal Government will meet workers’ ire, because we are not taking anything less than N30, 000.”

It will be recalled that NLC first mulled N50,000 as minimum wage for workers, but this proposal met stiff resistance of governments at all levels in Nigeria, which considered it as insensitive to current economic reality.

 

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