The organised labour union has called off the nationwide industrial action it earlier threatened to commence today to press home workers’ demand for a new national minimum wage.
The National Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, announced the suspension last night in Abuja at the end of the meeting of the tripartite committee set up to come up with the new minimum wage.
Wabba, however, refused to disclose the figure of the new minimum wage arrived at by the committee.
He said the figure would only be made public after the committee’s report would have been presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by 4.15pm today. According to him, only one figure would be presented to the president.
Daily Trust, however, authoritatively gathered that the government agreed and signed the #30, 000 demanded for by the workers.
Two union officials and a senior government official confirmed the #30,000 agreement.
The chairman of the committee, Ama Pepple, expressed delight that their assignment had been concluded.
“I am happy to report to you that we have concluded our assignment and we will submit our report to the president by 4.15pm on Tuesday (today). We will reveal the figure at the presentation,” she said.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, thanked members of the committee for doing a wonderful job. He described the process as a long journey.
“The committee has worked assiduously to reach the conclusion,” he said.
Daily Trust reports that the tripartite committee had earlier failed to reach any agreement after a nine hours marathon meeting.
Ms Pepple said at the end of the first meeting that “The federal government suggested N24, 000, and Labour and organised private sector gave the figure of N30, 000. There is no stalemate, we have finished and signed it. What we are insisting is that the strike should be called off.
“N24, 000 and N30, 000 were the figures we used for the negotiation, remember that Labour gave the figure of N52, 500, but when we put that figure together, plus the figures we got from the states when we wrote to them, about 21 of them responded and some of them gave us figures which we put in the basket.”
On his part, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Chris Ngige, said “The Labour is satisfied; we are doing the needful. The only aspect of it now that we need to do, is to fix an appointment of handing over the report to Mr. President.”
Those at yesterday’s meeting include Kebbi State Governor Alhaji Atiku Bagudu; Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed; Executive Chairman National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Chief Richard Onwuka Egbule, and some permanent secretaries.
Also was the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, TUC President, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama; ULC Vice President, Igwe Achese and Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma among others.
We are doing more with little, Buhari tells NLC
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to shelve its planned nationwide strike over the national minimum wage.
Buhari made the appeal when he received members of the Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) led by Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora at the State House Villa, Abuja.
Buhari told the NLC to consider what his administration inherited and the more it is doing with fewer resources in putting the economy right.
The President in a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said Nigerians will never forget the “lost opportunity between 1999 and 2015,” when the nation had huge resources at its disposal.
”There is no part of the country I haven’t been to, having attempted to be president four times. I know the condition of our roads. The rails were literally killed, there was no power despite the admittance of some previous leadership that they spent $16 billion on the sector.
”Today, we are getting our priorities right and we believe that of the three fundamental issues we campaigned on – security, the economy and fighting corruption, we have remained very relevant and Nigerians believe we have achieved something,” he said. Buhari also used the occasion to appreciate the People’s Republic of China for financing some of the rail and power projects in the country through concessionary loans,” he said.
Senate President Bukola Saraki also appealed to the Federal Government, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to shelve the proposed strike in the country’s interest.
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, said “While the government and labour are representing the interest of the people, it is important to also ensure we avoid any action that will not show sensitivity and sensibility to the plight of the people.”
Report for work today, HoS orders workers
Also before FG’s agreement with labour was reached, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Mrs. Winnifred Oyo-Ita, directed all workers to resume at their duty posts today.
According to her, the order became necessary because the National Industrial Court (NIC) had restrained the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from embarking on scheduled strike from today.
The order was contained in a circular dated November 5, 2018 with reference number HCSF/921/IV and titled “Notice of court injunction on proposed strike action: Directive for compliance”.
The circular was signed on behalf of the HoCSF by the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack.
She also asked all Permanent Secretaries to ensure strict compliance with the directive.
“The attention of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has been drawn to the order of interim injunction by the Abuja Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria dated November 2, 2018 restraining the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress and their members from embarking on or taking part in the strike or industrial action to commence on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
“In view of the above, I am directed to inform you that all staff are expected to continue to report at their duty posts to carry out their duties pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
“All Permanent Secretaries and Heads of extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies are to bring the content of this circular to the attention of their staff and ensure strict compliance,” the circular read.