By Williams Anuku, Abuja
MINISTER of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige on Monday held some consultative meetings with stakeholders in the labour sector, all in a bid to avert the nationwide strike proposed by the organised Labour.
Although, an enlarged meeting has been scheduled to hold on Tuesday (October 15) at the Federal Ministry of Labour complex, Ngige was believed to have convened Monday’s meeting to harmonise government’s position on the consequential adjustments.
Labour, under the auspices of Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have since been mobilising their members for a national strike, slated for Wednesday October 16th, to compel government across board to implement the N30,000 minimum wage it recently signed into law.
While the government has started implementation for workers on grade levels 1 step 1, labour activists are insisting the increase be implemented across board.
Ngige was recently quoted to have said government would require a whopping N580billion to fully implement it but was at a loss where to source the balance from.
Ahead of today’s meeting, Ngige met with the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSC) and the Government side of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council seperately.
While the meeting with the Labour team of the JNPSC started by 12noon and ended 2.45pm, the Hon. Minister sat in conciliation with the Government side of the Council between 3pm to 6pm.
The meetings were Collective Bargaining negotiations, affording both parties the opportunity to share vital information, especially critical statistics to allay the fears as well as undo all encumbrances constraining the attainment of a common position.
Deliberations were intended to smoothen the rough edges in preparation for a fruitful high level conclusive meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, 15th October , 2019.
Representing the Organised Labour were the Deputy Chairman of the NLC, Comrade Amaechi Asugwuni, NLC General Secretary, Comrade Emma Ugboaja, Musa Lawal Ozigi of the TUC, Nuhu Toro (TUC) Lawal Alade Bashir as well as Comrade Musa Abbas.
Others in attendance at the meeting with the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council were the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, Permanent Secreatry Ministry of Labour and Employment, William Alo, Director General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, Acting Chairman of the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta, a Director from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Garba Mamman, Olufehinti O.J from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, B.O.C Omogo of the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and Bar. Akpan, Director of Trade Union Services in the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Also in attendance was the Minister of State for Budget and Planning, Clem Agba