28 August 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Government has finally agreed to constitute a tripartite committee to deliberate on a new minimum wage for workers in the country.
The General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said that the Federal Government had written the NLC to forward a list of its representatives to the committee on minimum wage.
According to Ozo-Eson, the government also informed the union that it had agreed on a chairman for the committee. He said that the letter did not disclose the identity of the chairman.
He said, “A week ago, we were informed in a letter that the government has now agreed on a chairman and that we should send our list and we did that immediately.
“What we are waiting for now is the inauguration of that committee so that it can do its work and we hope that is something that will happen without further delay.”
He further revealed that the committee is expected to include representatives of the government, organised labour and employers.
Similarly, Ozo-Eson spoke on media reports attributed to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, that the Federal Government would consider wage review in specific areas of the public sector.
He noted that what Osinbajo said had nothing to do with the agitation for a new minimum wage in the country, noting that the vice president was specifically talking about wages in the public sector.
“From my reading of what the vice president said, I think he was referring to wages in the public sector. He was saying rather than consider a review of all wages in the public sector, the government would likely consider specific parastatals.
“That has nothing to do with the agitation or the demand for a new minimum wage. The minimum wage as it stands is excessively eroded in value. It cannot be regarded as a living wage. The demand for the committee to start work on the minimum wage is completely on course. We expect that process to start as soon as possible,” the NLC scribe said.
Osinbajo had at the 2017 national conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Lagos on Monday, said the Federal Government might consider increasing workers’ remuneration package, especially bonuses of certain government agencies, instead of increasing wages across the board.