The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has dismissed as misleading, speculations that talks between it and the federal government on new national minimum wage had collapsed.
Its president, Ayuba Wabba, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, that the talks had not even started.
According to him, the government is foot-dragging on the issue.
He said the tripartite structure that should consider the modalities for the implementation had not been inaugurated.
“Up till now, government is still dragging its feet on talks about the minimum wage; the tripartite structure has not been put in place,” he said.
“The point we are making is that we have only agreed on the structure, but the structure has not been formed.
“We have agreed on the membership and the structure of the negotiating team which is going to be tripartite, so this is the point that we are now.
“But at the last meeting of the tripartite team which was held a day after the Sallah break, it was agreed that at the next meeting, all these issues will be sorted out.
“What happened was that government could not form a quorum at the last meeting of the palliative,” Wabba added.
According to him, apart from the Minister of Labour and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation that were at the meeting, key ministries were absent.
“Legitimately, we have a demand that is still pending with them including that of minimum wage and the palliative; therefore at the next meeting, I am certain that we will give government notice.”
Asked if the government was reluctant in setting up a team for the implementation of the minimum wage, Wabba said he would not speak for the government.
“Well, I can’t speak on the side of the government, but we are committed in making our demand, it is left for them to tell Nigerians whether they are committed to it or not,” he said.
According to the NLC president, the union would pursue the issue of the minimum wage to its logical conclusion.
The composition of the tripartite committee was announced on May 26, by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.
The Wabba faction of the NLC had put forward a demand of N56,000 as a realistic minimum wage, while that of Joe Ajaero is asking for N90,000 as minimum wage.
The government on its part has proposed N45,000 as the new minimum wage.
The joint committee is meant to iron out the differences in the various submissions. (NAN)