The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, may have foreclosed organised labour’s insistence on a new minimum wage of N30,000.
He is insisting that an employee cannot dictate his salary for his employer.
He however said the new minimum wage must be an agreement reached mutually.
The minister, according to a statement by the Director of Press at the Ministry, Samuel Olowookere, said this when the new Director General of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, Mr. Timothy Olawale; and his predecessor, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo, visited him.
Ngige said: “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 mutual agreement by the tripartite partners.
“It is not a function of moving motions or voting at the National Tripartite Negotiation Committee that the figure must be as the organised labour appears to make it look.
“There is absolutely therefore no need to heat up the polity. The government’s proposed new minimum wage figure is clearly based on critical facts and indices incapable of causing disequilibrium in the economy.”
The minister also said it was important for the organised labour to accept a new minimum wage based on the capacity and the ability of both the government and the private sector to pay.
He called NECA to appeal to the organised labour to accept the new minimum wage figure mutually agreeable to all the partners.
It would be recalled that Labour had insisted on N30,000 while the Federal government proposed N25,000. The private sector was said to have proposed N24,000 while state governments proposed N20,000.
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