The United Labour Congress (ULC) today, told Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige, to explain his obscure statement on the planned new minimum wage, to get rid of the confusion on the issue.
On May 30, Ngige had announced that the new National Minimum Wage would not be paid to workers by the end of September, contrary to a previous announcement made by the Federal Government.
Reports say that Ngige’s announcement appears to have lowered the morale of workers, who were anticipating a new wage in September.
Nigeria currently operates a wage structure for civil servants, which is seen as one of the lowest in the world, despite its position as Africa’s leading oil-bearing nation.
Addressing the press in Lagos, ULC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, told Ngige to clarify his statement to avoid creating tension among the workers.
He said the minister’s statement that the wages would no longer be paid in September led to obscurity on the issue.
Ajaero termed the minister’s statement as unfortunate, saying he should have spoken with members of the tripartite committee on the minimum wage issue before making any announcements on the matterl.
“We are not sure the stakeholders, who are members of the committee, were consulted and this is undemocratic and lacks due process. Our fear and worry is that the statement is laden with intentions.’’
Ajaero stated that there was need to be sensitive to the plight of Nigerian workers, who had been facing many difficulties over the years.
The labour leader also said it would not be good for any government official to wreck the interest of workers, vowing that the labour movement would not accept anything that would affect workers adversely.
He assured workers that the congress would continue to put pressure on government to ensure that the committee submits its report next month.