The Minister of labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has implored the organised labour to accept a mutually agreeable new National Minimum Wage in order to avert labour crisis.
Though, the minister did not disclose the exact figure proposed, sources told newsmen last night that the government team offered labour a new minimum wage of N20,000.
Ngige said that Nigeria could not afford rounds of labour crisis, hence, the imperative for the organised labour to accept a new National Minimum Wage figure based on the capacity and the ability of both the government and the private sector to pay in line with social dialogue and the overall interest of the nation.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Director Press in the Ministry, Samuel Olowookere, the minister made the appeal when he received the new Director General (DG) of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) Mr. Timothy Olawale and his predecessor, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo, in his new office.
Ngige appealed to NECA to weigh its influence on the organised labour to accede to the new National Minimum Wage figure mutually agreeable to all the social partners.
“We need to arrive at a figure which the employers can afford to pay as an employee cannot fix a figure for the employer. Rather, it must be based on collective bargaining and mutual agreement by the tripartite partners. It is not a function of moving motions or voting at the National Tripartite Negotiation committee to insist that the figure must be as the organised labour appears to make it look,” he said.
The minister cautioned against heating up the polity, adding that “government’s proposed new minimum wage figure is clearly based on critical facts and indices incapable of causing disequilibrium in the economy or upturning the national social order”.