Relief For Nigerians As Labour Suspends Strike
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Federal Government yesterday succeeded in averting what could have been a complete lockdown of the economy over the disagreement on minimum wage for workers.
The protracted negotiation between the government and the workers’ representatives saved the day, leading to the suspension of a nationwide strike that would have begun at midnight today. At 10.30 p.m, there were unconfirmed reports that airport workers union had already announced stoppage of international flights.
Led by the NLC President Ayuba Wabba, the organized Labour had insisted on a N30,000 minimum wage workers in the country as against government’s N24,000.
But Ayuba last night announced a suspension of the proposed action after the workers got what looked like a concession from the government team led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha. Although Wabba could not divulge the agreed amount, he said the work of the tripartite committee had been concluded and that the report would be submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari at 4.15 pm today (Tuesday).
Asked to disclose the amount agreed upon by the tripartite committee, Wabba said: “The figure will be released when we submit the report tomorrow (today).
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday expressed his commitment to ensuring the implementation of a new National Minimum Wage.
Buhari said this in Abuja on Tuesday while receiving the report of the Tripartite Committee on the Review of National Minimum Wage from the committee’s chairman, Amal Pepple at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He expressed delight that the committee had successfully completed its assignment in a peaceful and non-controversial manner. He revealed that the Federal Government would soon transmit an Executive bill (on National Minimum Wage) to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time.
“Our plan is to transmit the Executive bill to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time.
“I am fully committed to having a new National Minimum Wage Act in the very near future.
“Let me use this opportunity to recognise the leadership of the organized labour and private sector as well as representatives of State and Federal Governments for all your hard work.
“The fact that we are here today, is a notable achievement.
“As the Executive Arm commences its review of your submission, we will continue to engage you all in closing any open areas presented in this report.
“I therefore would like to ask for your patience and understanding in the coming weeks,” he said.
The President, however, enjoined the leadership of the labour unions as well as the Nigerian workers to avoid being used as political weapons.