The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige has appealed to organised labour not to embark on strike over the minimum wage bill before the National Assembly.
Ngige made the appeal Tuesday at the meeting of the National Labour Advisory Council in Owerri, Imo State, virtually declared open by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari.
During his inaugural address, Ngige said much as he supports the organised labour’s opposition to the bill, they should not embark on strike on account of the development.
It was reported that the bill, introduced by a member of the House of Representatives seeks to remove the National Minimum Wage from the exclusive to the concurrent legislative list.
According to Ngige, labour needed not thank him for his position on the bill as he was reechoing the FG’s position reflected in its adoption of conventions of the International Labour Organisation on the minimum wage.
He said: “Although the council has been inactive, the Ministry in the spirit of Tripartism has ensured and maintained a sound tripartite relationship with social partners.
“For example, during the negotiation for the national minimum wage from 2017 to 2018, we used the tripartite plus composition of government, employers, employees and other interests- and for other interests, we made sure that it reflected the members of this council.
“That was why we got the Nigerian Governors Forum involved in that negotiation and we called it tripartite plus.
“Mr President of NLC, you didn’t need to thank me for what I said about the minimum wage bill because I was reechoing what the Nigerian government stood for by adopting the ILO Convention 28, the Minimum Wage Fixing Machinery Convention of 1928 (No.26) and the Minimum Wage Fixing Convention of 1970 (No131). From these conventions, the Minimum wage Act was signed in 1981. So, I am with you 100 percent but I don’t want you to go on strike on that.”