NLC says no ‘technical committee’ can look into N30,000 minimum wage

NLC says no ‘technical committee’ can look into N30,000 minimum wage

Wednesday, December 19, 2018 4:17 pm

Comrade Ayuba Wabba

As the Presidency continues to linger over passing the report of the tripartite committee on the national minimum wage to the National Assembly, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says that no Technical Committee will look into the already agreed N30,000.

The NLC was reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that a “high powered technical committee” would be set up to look into the ability of state governments to pay the already agreed minimum wage to avoid job loss.

Buhari spoke at the presentation of 2019 Appropriation Bill to the national Assembly in Abuja.

“To avoid a system crisis on the Federal Government and states, it is important to device ways to ensure that its implementation does not lead to an increase in the level of borrowing.

“I am, accordingly, setting up a high powered technical committee to advice on ways of funding an increase in the minimum wage and attendant wage adjustments without having to resort to additional borrowing.

“The work of the committee will be the basis of finance bill which will be submitted to the National Assembly alongside the minimum wage bill,” Buhari said.

Buhari, said the committee would recommend modalities for the implementation of the new minimum wage.

But NLC President Mr Ayuba Wabba told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos that no Technical Committee would look into the issue of N30,000 minimum wage.

“We cannot use any technical committee to look into the agreed minimum wage. The President promised to pass the report to lawmakers a week after it was presented to him.

“Once the tripartite committee has met and agreed on an amount, no other committee can meet on the same issue,’’ Wabba said.

He said it was the tripartite committee’s decision for workers to be paid N30, 000 as minimum wage and there was no going back by labour on the amount.

He noted that the organised labour would meet next week to take a decision of the next line of action.

Earlier, Mr Joe Ajaero, President of the United Labour Congress (ULC), said that a tripartite committee had considered the ability of governments to pay the sum before the committee agreed on it.

Ajaero said that labour had resolved to fight for the new minimum wage even after the upcoming general election, saying that there would be no retreat or surrender until workers received the wage.

The tripartite committee was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari on Nov. 5, 2017 and the committee later agreed on N30, 000 as new minimum wage after prolonged consultations.

On Nov. 5, Buhari received the report of the tripartite committee he set up to fashion out a new minimum wage for workers and had yet to submit it to the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, Nigerian workers have been voicing their frustrations over what they describe as the peanuts paid to public sector workers in a country where political office holders, including members of the parliament receive some of the biggest pay cheques in the world.

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