Minimum Wage: Nigerian govt, Labour locked in negotiation hours to strike deadline

Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige

The federal government is yet to reach an agreement with labour leaders over the new minimum wage, with just few hours to the deadline for a possible labour strike.

Both sides are currently meeting in Abuja in a final effort to stop the planned strike. By 8p.m. Wednesday, the meeting had already held for more than four hours.

The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress want the full implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage and its consequential adjustment.

The government which approved the new wage before the last elections has failed so far to implement it.

Last week, labour threatened a nationwide industrial action if the government failed to show commitment to the full implementation of the new wage.

Wednesday meeting started late because the labour minister, Chris Ngige, did not arrive early.

The unions broke out twice for consultations.

An agreement by both parties will be an indication there would be no national strike.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Mr Ngige said both parties will resolve today.

”The document was circulated yesterday and people have studied it so we will talk from an informed point. Nigerians can relax and investors should not be worried, ” he said.

Controversy

The main controversy is the percentage salary increase for certain categories of workers.

Labour is demanding a 29 per cent salary increase for officers on salary level 07 to 14, and 24 per cent adjustment for officers on salary grade level 15 to 17.

But the federal government presented a proposal of 11 per cent salary increase for officers on grade level 07 to14, and 6.5 per cent adjustment for workers of grade level 15 to 17.

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