Labour and Nigerian government negotiations
January 4, 2019Azeezat Adedigba
The Friday meeting between the federal government and labour unions ended without an agreement.
The meeting was organised to prevent the planned January 8 protest by labour unions.
The planned protest by the labour unions is to demand that President Muhammadu Buhari submit a bill to the parliament for the implementation of N30,000 minimum wage for workers.
While addressing journalists at the end of the Friday meeting, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, said the meeting has been adjourned till 5 p.m. on Monday.
”We are still discussing and will continue on Monday. We need to make further consultations before the issues are concluded,” he said.
In his reaction, the labour minister, Chris Ngige, who led the government delegation, said the government has made progress with the workers.
The meeting, which started at 12:50 p.m., went on recess at 3:20 p.m. and reconvened 4:28 p.m.
The meeting went on break because President Buhari summoned Mr Ngige, the finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, and the budget minister, Udoma Udoma, for an emergency meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has been at loggerheads with the federal government over a new minimum wage.
The NLC and other labour unions demand that the national minimum wage be increased to N30,000 from the current N18,000.
President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to commit to the new proposal. Instead, the president said last year that he would set up a technical committee to review the N30,000 proposed by a tripartite committee earlier set up by the federal government.
State governments have also said they would not be able to pay the N30,000 minimum wage.