Senator Chris Ngige the present Minister of Labour and Employment, yesterday, reported that all Governors and members of the Economic Management Team (EMT) will be meeting on Monday to address on the N30,000 minimum wage proposal by the organised labour.
Mr. Ngige aswell said that; the Federal Government also said that there will be no going back in the: ‘No work, no pay’ policy, adding that the policy has been in existence since in the administration of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Hearing this, labour has threatened to embark on strike on November 6, 2018, over the outstanding issues of minimum wage and other issues, there are presently accusing the government of playing games with workers.
Pouring speeches with the State House correspondents after meeting privately with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja; Senator Ngige said there was no decision yet taken by the government on the proposed N30, 000 minimum wage.
Sen Ngige speaking said “I have come here to consult with the Vice President and Mr. President. On Monday, the Governors and economic management team (EMT)are supposed to come together so that the Federal Government will brief them on what is on the ground and we will see what they will be able to put to us, because the Government side is still three tiers, the Federal, State, and the Local Governments. The Federal Government still remains the leader.“
So, we are inviting them to come so that we will listen to them again, tell them our present an future plans because members of that committee are present. “So, on Monday, we will have a very important discussion before the tripartite committee will come and submit its report.”
On the ‘No work no pay’ rule, he said “The issue of no-work, no-pay is not a new thing, it is an existing law passed by the National Assembly in 2004 and assented to by Obasanjo. “The law protects both the employers and employees. We are just re-echoing it. It is not anything newly administrated it has been around since the time of Obasanjo,” he said.
However, Mr. Ngige disagreed with the position of the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on the draft White Paper on Industrial Harmony. saying that the labour officials were misinformed over the draft white paper, further stressing that the white paper did not oppose the inclusion of non-elected officials to lead the Labour unions in negotiations.
“I don’t take it that they read the committee’s report that was set up. I participated in one which is the white paper drafting and the recommendation is there, we stop government not to accept.
“So the labour officials are talking out of maybe misinformation because the particular aspect of it they are talking about we rejected it – where they say non-elected member should not lead them in negotiation, my committee said, `no’ because those people they call Secretary-General or General Secretary, some of them become automatic members of those unions.
“So, you don’t have to dispossess them of the right to lead. So government rejected it but they are shouting that the government accepted it, which happens to be false”.