The Federal Government has agreed to constitute a tripartite committee to deliberate on a new minimum wage for workers in the country.
Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, the General Secretary of Nigeria Labour Congress, stated that the Federal Government had written the NLC to forward a list of its representatives for the committee on minimum wage.
He mentioned that the government informed the union that it had agreed on a Chairman for the Committee. However, the letter did not disclose the identity of the Chairman.
“A week ago, we were informed in a letter that the government has now agreed on a Chairman and that we should send our list and we did that immediately. What we are waiting for now is the inauguration of that committee so that it can do its work and we hope it’s something that will happen without further delay”.
The committee which is expected to consist of 29 members will include representatives of the Government, NLC and Employers.
Also, Dr Ozo-Eson noted that the Vice President’s statement that the Federal Government would consider wage review in specific areas of the public sector had nothing to do with the agitation for a new minimum wage in the country, adding that the he specifically talked about wages in the public sector.
“From my reading of what the Vice President said, I think he was referring to wages in the public sector. He was saying rather than consider a review of all wages in the Public Sector, the government would likely consider specific parastatals”.
“That has nothing to do with the agitation or the demand for a new minimum wage. The minimum wage as it stands is excessively eroded in value. It cannot be regarded as a living wage. The demand for the committee to start work on the minimum wage is completely on course. We expect that process to start as soon as possible.”
Prof. Osinbajo had earlier this week, at the 2017 National Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association, explained that the Federal Government might consider increasing workers’ remuneration package, especially bonuses of certain government agencies, instead of increasing wages across the board.
It would be recalled that NLC and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria have been agitating for a review of minimum wage from N18, 000 to N56, 000 due to hardship faced by workers as a result of inflation.