Ngige begs Labor, says Inplimenting of report takes process

Ngige begs Labor, says Inplimenting of report takes process
January 05 17:15 2019 Print This Article

By Martin Odiete

With a view to averting the Organised labor planned rally on Tuesday, Minister of Labor and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige has pleaded with them to be patient with government saying that they are making efforts in the process of transmitting the minimum wage bill to the National Assembly.

The minister made this appeal while fielding questions from news men immediately after their marathon meeting with members of the labor congress in his office in Abuja on Friday. He however noted that despite the process involved they have made much progress in that direction.

He said, “We have made substantial progress in term of the transmission of the bill to the National Assembly. We adjourned to look at the issue. It is a new bill for National Minimum Wage Act 2019.

“The president inaugurated the minimum wage committee and provided them the equipment and resources to work. We have the report and we are working on it. It is in a raw form and it will be milled before transmission to the National Assembly; that is what we are doing now and how to make it fast.

“The high level technical committee will not discuss the minimum wage. It is about budget and planning for the federal and state governments on sustainability and how they can get the fund. We don’t have to pay in 2019 and not pay in 2020. The committee will advise the state governments groaning under wage bill on what to do. On Monday we will continue and arrive at a transmission date.”

The minister also said that the N160bn in the 2019 budget was not only for the minimum wage but also for “consequential financial” that would occur.

Reacting to the delay in transmitting the report of the tripartite committee to the National Assembly, NLC president, Ayuba Wabba said the union expected the FG to have completed the process of implementation of the report, which was submitted more than two months ago.

He said, “Since the issue of minimum wage, which expired in 2016, we have always followed the due process. The stage we are is not about implementation but how to get to the next stage. But when there is no information, there will be speculation.

“The report was submitted more than two months ago and we were patient to allow processes to take its course. At worse, in a month, these processes should have been put in place. But there was no information and the issues are dear to labour because we consider the economy, inflation and other variables. That has put a lot of pressure on us to deliver an important issue like the minimum wage.”

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