Last week, the Federal Government of Nigeria and organized Labour signed an agreement on the table of implementation of the new national minimum wage of N18, 000 signed by President Goodluck Jonathan in March this year.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had issued several threats of industrial action over disagreement on mode of implementation of the wage Act but were dissuaded by the Federal Government when it agreed to implement the new minimum wage accross board against its earlier decision to pay only workers in Grade 01-06, a decission, labour vehemently opposed.
Labour source hinted Daily Sun yesterday in Abuja that the “table worked out involved both our members and government and it is agreeable to us. Hopefully, we are going to sign it tomorrow and every worker will begin to enjoy it from August 31, 2011.” The source hinted.
However, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu has said the Federal Government and all the stakeholders in the Labour sector are working round the clock to ensure a hitch free implementation of the new national minimum wage.
The minister, who made this known when he visited the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies in Ilorin, Kwara state, said, the Federal Government was working with government at various levels including private employers to ensure that the implementation of the new national minimum Wage is hitch free.
Chief Wogu, who said president Jonathan is committed to ensuring best practices in labour administration as part of his transformational agenda, commended the organized labour for calling off their three day warning strike to dialogue with government, saying that, the present administration realizes the importance of industrial peace and harmony in its developmental efforts and would continue to engage in the use of social dialogue in resolving labour disputes.
He said “I am particularly glad to inform this gathering of agreeable implementation plans between the Federal Government and its workers. We are also working with the various levels of government to ensure that implementation is achieved in a peaceful and amicable way.”
“Let me use this opportunity to commend the President for his commitment to instituting best practices in labour administration as part of his transformational agenda. The present administration realizes the importance of industrial peace and harmony in its developmental efforts and therefore committed to the use of social dialogue in resolving labour disputes”. The Minister emphasized.
The minister, while admonishing labour unions to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the Micheal Imoudu National institute for Labour Studies to build the capacity of their members, said “The various developmental challenges confronting the nation call for a strategic approach, I would therefore strongly advise the labour movement to emphasize capacity building and education, in order to build a strong and virile labour sector that can support sustainable growth and development.”
“Indeed workers’ education will be increasingly decisive in the emerging scenario, education will be a fault line; a functional necessity for workers’ effective participation in a competitive global economy and in national building initiatives. I trust that we can all count on the support of Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies in this regard,” he said.
The minister, who later paid a courtesy visit to the Kwara State Governor Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, also commended the Governor for maintaining industrial peace and harmony in the state, and providing a conducive atmosphere for economic growth, and called on him to seek for continued collaboration between the state and Micheal Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies.