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Employers and workers never had it as good as under my tenure —Ngige


Returning Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has said employers and workers in Nigeria had their best period under his tenure.

He also promised to resolve the lingering problem of the implementation of the new N30,000 national minimum wage.

Ngige, who was speaking shortly after he was sworn in for his second coming to the ministry, assured workers that the controversy surrounding the implementation of the wage will soon be laid to rest.

He noted that he will be coming back to the ministry and the Labour sector with a wealth of experience that would help him to do better.

Speaking with newsmen at his residence on Wednesday, Ngige disclosed that he was expecting the brief of the progress made on the consequential adjustment of the wage from the Permanent Secretary on Thursday.

Ngige and his Minister of State, Senator Tayo Alasoudura are expected to report for duty at the federal secretariat complex on Thursday.

He said “I am coming in with experience. We have been there for three and half years. The President evaluated our efforts and felt that we should return there. That does not mean that we are going back there to sleep or go and be making merry.

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“We have so many outstanding issues to be addressed, some of them urgently too. As we speak, SSANU, NASU are on strike and the university system is not bubbling, but going comatose. So, we have to address that issue urgently.

“We also have the issue of minimum wage consequential adjustment. My Permanent Secretary is handling it and they have made some progress. By tomorrow, we will get the hand over note from him and myself and the Minister of State will study it and know to key in.

“The important thing is that we want to make sure that matter is addressed as quickly as possible and put a smile on the faces of Nigerian workers.

“I am a man of due process and if you like due process, you will be my friend. If you don’t do things abnormally, then you are my friend and you don’t have problem with me. If government is wrong, I will tell them you are wrong and that this is the way we should do it so that we can come out of such a bad situation.

“I don’t think Labour and Employers have had it so good. I put in all my energy in whatever assignment I am given and I did so in the Ministry of Labour in the last three and half years.

“I remain committed to working with the Labour unions. The NLC is a federation of labour unions. You have other federations such as the trade union Congress of Nigeria and the United Labour Congress which has not been officially registered, but there are unions that are there.”

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