Workers Are Within Their Rights To Ask For Minimum Wage – Ngige

The Federal Government yesterday said it was carefully studying the recent demand for the upward review of the national minimum wage by organized labour.

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC led by Ayuba Wabba, and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, had sent a N56, 000 minimum wage demand to the Federal Government, and the Joe Ajaero-led NLC demanded for N90, 000.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who stated this when he received the executive members of the Organisation of Trade Unions of West Africa, OTUWA, in Abuja, described the demand of the organised labour as a legitimate demand.

“The other day, the labour requested for increased wages for workers and they have only done what they are supposed to do. Therefore, nobody will quarrel with them. At the appropriate time, we shall all sit down because what labour is asking, is for the re-negotiation of an existing Collective Bargain Agreement, CBA. Every CBA based on an agreement is subject to re-negotiation at any given time that any of the partners requests for it,” Ngige said.

He dismissed insinuation that whenever the Labour made such a demand, it meant that the workforce was at loggerheads with the government. “It is wrong for people to think that whenever the labour makes such a demand the nation is boiling. The labour in Nigeria has for the first time met a labour-friendly government under President Muhammadu Buhari. The government has put machinery in motion as we speak because I have got a letter as the Minister of Labour and Employment for my advice. We shall advise government the way the tripartite negotiation will be handled so that everybody will be satisfied without any industrial unrest. He added that Labour was part of the tripartite arrangement of the International Labour Organisation structure which Nigeria is signatory to,” Ngige said.