Nigeria labour and the Federal Government are heading for a battle when they meet tomorrow over the implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the minimum wage bill into law in April but the Federal Government commenced payment to workers on levels 1-6 in August. Minister of Labour and Employment Dr. Chris Ngige, said arrears from April would be paid subsequently.
There is disagreement on the percentage of increment for workers on levels 7 to 17.
The Federal Government is offering 11 per cent for 7 to 14 and 6.5 per cent for 15 to17. The governors are offering nine per cent while Labour is demanding between 24 per cent and 29 per cent.
Labour has given an October 16 ultimatum for the full implementation of the new wage to all categories of workers otherwise it will declare a strike.
Tomorrow’s meeting to negotiate the consequential adjustment will be between the Federal Government and the leadership of organised labour comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC).
Confirming that the meeting will hold after the 2020 budget presentation at the National Assembly by President Buhari, Dr. Ngige said: “The Federal Government will on Tuesday make available its books – income and expenditure – as per 2019 and the 2020 proposal.
“Let labour look at the books first and we shall proceed from there.”
The minister said he was hopeful that an agreement would be reached by all parties involved in the negotiation.
He noted that there was no major dispute yet that would warrant a strike by the organised labour.
But, the Secretary of JNPSNC Alade Lawal, said Labour was not interested in looking at government’s books.