Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has described the federal government’s silence on the N30,000 minimum wage proposal as provocative, adding that it would not wait till eternity on the issue.
Organized labour stressed that it expected President Muhammadu Buhari to have sent a draft bill on minimum wage to the National Assembly weeks after the report was sent to him.
In an interview with The Punch, NLC General Secretary, Mr. Peter Ozo-Eson, disclosed that members of the union are becoming restless with how the government is handling the issue.
He said, “The latest about the issue of the minimum wage is clear. We expect that since the Presidency had already received our report, the President should have drafted an executive bill to the National Assembly on it so that they can begin to legislate on it.
“That has not been done even though we expect that it should have been done already. We cannot continue to wait forever.”
He stressed that the union might meet again soon to review government position and take necessary action unless the government acts fast.
Ozo-Eson added, “The next step as I said is for the President to transmit a draft bill to the National Assembly. The FG’s delay on the issue is provocative, our members are becoming restless and the FG must act fast on our report.
“If the delay continues, our next step will be made public after we meet again to review the steps taken so far.”
The Senate Deputy Majority Leader, Bala Ibn Na’allah, had restated that the National Assembly will give the new national minimum wage bill speedy hearing as soon as it is sent to the legislature. The lawmaker gave the assurance on Friday, November 23.
Lack of agreement between the union and the federal government has stalled the presentation of the bill to the National Assembly.
Following the recent meeting between both parties, a source disclosed that an agreement is yet to be reached but once it is sorted “the bill will go to the National Assembly and the passage should be smooth.”
The President, on Monday, November 19, 2018, held a closed-door meeting with the Governors to discuss the issue of the minimum wage. The outcome of the meeting was however not disclosed.