The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba has said if all members of the tripod are committed to doing what is right and working within the timeline already set, the new minimum wage can be achieved in September.
He stated this on Wednesday while addressing newsmen after addressing the plenary at the ongoing 107th session of the International Labour Conference, ILO.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, had said that the new minimum wage may not materialise in September.
Wabba said “Clearly speaking, if we are to go by the timeline which the tripartite committee represented by government, employers and workers are able to work assiduously towards it, it is something that is deliverable and can be achieved. So, we are still keeping faith with the process.”
“We made that very clear from the beginning after the inauguration of the committee because the first thing they did was to look at the scope of the work and the time it will take for us to deliver, to complete the tripartite negotiation and make sure that we are able to deliver a comprehensive report.
“Given the process of give and take, with the commitment we have also received from the National Assembly, I don’t think that the centrality of the issue require any delay. So as Organised Labour, we are committed to the timeline that the committee has set for itself. The timeline is August/September and we have said that very clearly.
“At the tripartite committee, once it is agreed, we also know the process. It not about your willingness to pay, but the desirability and the fact that workers deserve decent wages.
“Once there is the will and the negotiations are concluded and a figured agreed by the tripartite, the entire process involved in making it a law can be concluded within a very short period. The one that we did in 2011 did not take up to one month for the entire process to be completed.
“We have also received firm commitment from the leadership of the National Assembly that once a law that is agreeable is transmitted to them, they will be able to facilitate the process. So, if there is the good will, all these processes can be concluded in good time and workers will then be able to benefit from it.
“But if there is no good will, then the issue of delay and all manner of excuses can be given. But our faith is that we are committed to the process and workers are waiting very anxiously to benefit because it is also long overdue. At the last negotiation, we all agreed to the five year timeline. This is the context of what we are considering”.