Posted on Tue 8 Jan 2019, 07:04 AM

 
After Monday meeting held by the Federal Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress in Abuja, NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, said the scheduled protest would still hold because it was meant to get all parties committed to the minimum wage issue.

He said, “We have had some useful discussion and we have consulted but we agreed to meet by 1pm tomorrow to see if we can finish the processes. The protest is about implementation so it has no link. What we are trying to do is how to see the bill transmitted to the National Assembly. The protest is about how to get all parties committed to the issue of minimum wage, it is different from how we get this bill transmitted with timeline to the national assembly.”

Dr Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, told journalists that despite the challenge of time, the FG was making effort to speed up the process of transmitting the bill.

He said, “We have made progress and tomorrow (Tuesday), we will know the definite date when the bill will be transmitted to the National Assembly. It has been difficult to arrive at a date because there are processes to follow on the bill. We have to go to the Federal Executive Council with a council memo on the bill. After that, we will go to the National Economic Council and the Council of State. We can control the Federal Executive Council date, the same with NEC, but for the National Council of State, the President has to look at his own timetable and we inform past heads of state and justice of the federation.  This can take two weeks but we are trying to see if we can accommodate all these meetings by next week because we cannot do Council of State meeting again this week. Immediately after that meeting (Council of State), we will transmit.”

The NLC in a release on Monday before the meeting through its General Secretary, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, explained that the union would stage a nationwide protest on Tuesday  January 8, and not that strike would begin.

The statement said, “It has come to our attention that some section of the news media has largely misrepresented our action plan in reaction to the delay in transmitting the recommendations of the Tripartite Committee on a new National Minimum Wage to the National Assembly by President Mohammadu Buhari.

“It should be recalled that the National Executive Council of NLC met on December 17 last year and directed that we hold nationwide mobilisation of workers and our allies if by December 31, 2018 the bill on the National Minimum Wage has yet to be sent to the National Assembly to be passed as an Act of Parliament. We immediately announced then that on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, there will be a nationwide mass mobilisation and protests simultaneously across all states in Nigeria. This does not translate to a strike"

 

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