Minimum wage: Nigerian govt, Labour meeting again ends in deadlock

The meeting between Organised Labour and the Federal Government again ended without both parties reaching a conclusion.

After several hours of the meeting, which started at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday and ended in the early hours of Thursday, both parties failed to reach a resolution in the consequential adjustment of workers’ salaries as a result of the new minimum wage of N30,000.

However, both parties agreed to adjourn the meeting until 7:00 pm on Thursday to continue deliberation.

At the end of the meeting, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige told journalists that specific jobs had been given to some committees that must be submitted before the negotiation could be deemed completed.

He added that “some progress has been made but we have not been able to conclude and have collective bargaining agreement. Some committees need to do some computation. We have worked up to the early hours of today. That is in the true spirit of collective bargaining. That is what we have to do to get the process concluded and conclude the process.”

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, also at the end of the meeting told journalists that Nigerians would be given details of the negotiation and concessions made after the rescheduled meeting.

“We have adjourned to reconvene by 7:00 pm. At the appropriate time, we should be able to give the details,” he added that “every dispute will be concluded at the roundtable.”

The Workers union had last week threatened the Federal Government to resolve the impasse on or before Wednesday, October 16 or risks industrial disharmony.

A meeting to resolve the impasse on Tuesday ended inconclusive, as both parties agree to reschedule for Wednesday.

One major issue delaying the full implementation of the minimum wage is the percentage of the salary increase for certain categories of workers.

While the organised labour is demanding a 29% salary increase for officers on salary level 07 to 14 and 24% adjustment for officers on salary grade level 15 to 17, the Federal Government had presented a proposal of 11% salary increase for officers on grade level 07 to14 and 6.5% adjustment for workers of grade level 15 to 17.

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