Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the N27,000 new National Minimum Wage adopted by the National Council of State on Tuesday.
NLC General Secretary, Peter Ozo-Eson, made this known to journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to the NLC scribe, the council of state has no jurisdiction to fix another amount after a Tripartite Committee had submitted its report.
“It is abysmal of government to be delaying the submission of an Executive Bill to the National Assembly and by wrongfully adopting N27,000 through the council of states,” he said.
Ozo-Eson, however, said the NLC had called an emergency National Executive Council meeting for Friday to look at the deadline given to government within which to submit an executive bill to the National Assembly.
The NLC scribe added that the Federal Government was only pushing for a shutdown of the economy with its latest action.
“This is because workers should not be held responsible for any development after its NEC meeting on Friday,’’ he said.
The issue in contention between government and organised labour movement has been the N30,000 new national minimum wage which was recommended by the FG tripartite committee after months of deliberation and input by the tripartite stakeholders.
The organised labour is demanding that a bill be forwarded to the National Assembly for the enactment of a law backing the new minimum wage.
Rather than forwarding the bill, government said it will subject the report of the tripartite committee on minimum wage to a further scrutiny by a technical committee.
On its part, the 36 state governors under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) rejected the N30,000 proposed in the tripartite committee’s report, saying that the financial position of most the states cannot support it.
The governors went further to offer N22,500 as what they will be able to pay as new minimum wage.
Before the latest position by the Council of States, the organised labour had reacted to what it described as undue delay tactics by the government, threatening a showdown if it fails to submit a bill on N30,000 minimum wage to the National Assembly by January 23.