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TO ensure an all-inclusive negotiation and guide against failure of state governments to pay workers salaries, three state governors will be involved in negotiating a new national minimum wage for Nigerian workers.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige, made this known in Abuja on Thursday as the Technical Committee on Palliative and Minimum Wage submitted its report to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr Babachir David Lawal.
The report, which is expected to be ratified by the main committee headed by the SGF, recommended that three governors, which include the Chairman of the Governors Forum, and one each, representing the All People Congress (APC) governors and the People Democratic Party (PDP), will be represented on the new Committee on National Minimum Wage, to be inaugurated soon by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister, who is the chairman of the Technical Committee said while submitting the report to the SGF, that apart from the three governors, the committee had recommended that the Federal Government, Organised Labour and the Organised private sector which include the Nigerian Employers Consultative Assembly (NECA), NACIMA, and Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises Association, will provide eight members each.
Ngige said: “The report of the committee is in two folds. The first is on the issue of National Committee on Minimum Wage. We recommended a 29-member Minimum Wage Committee which will have a chairman and a secretary.
“The chairman should be a Nigerian of very good standing who has no affiliation to any political party; and he must have knowledge of labour and public service experience. The secretariat of the committee should be domiciled in the national salaries, income and wages commission.
“Out of the 29 members, the federal is to produce eight persons, organised labour eight persons, and organised private sector, which will include Nigerian Employers Consultative Assembly (NECA), NACIMA, and Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises Association to jointly produce eight persons.
“Also three governors; one to represent the Nigeria Governors Forum, one to represent the APC governors and one to present the PDP governors.”
The minister said the committee report also urged that the National Minimum Wage Committee should be urgently constituted to enable it start its work earlier in order to achieve its purpose on time.
Also speaking, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba called on the state governors to actively participate when the negotiation commence and ensure that agreements reached are implemented.
He also urged the main committee to ensure that the report is attended to in good time.
In his own remarks, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) President, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, urged the Federal Government to look into the issue of unpaid workers salaries.
According to Kaigama, “the federal workers are seriously owned. We have salary arrears in terms of promotion, death benefits, pensions that has not been paid for the last one year; and from the Contributory Pension Scheme because the Federal Government has not been paying its own contributions.

“Most of our members who retired for the last one year are virtually in displaced right now. So, we beg that the Federal Government should use the opportunity of this report to address every other issues such as these, for the purposes of maintaining peaceful and harmonious industry relations in the country.” {TRIBUNE}

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