MINIMUM WAGE: AGAIN, FG, LABOUR TALKS INCONCLUSIVE

By NBF News
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The ongoing talks on the contentious minimum wage ended inconclusively last night, with the Federal Government failing to agree on the quantum of money labour demanded as increase on the wage bill.

At the meeting held in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) in Abuja, the labour leaders, it was gathered, had demanded 5.43 per cent increase in wages across board from levels one to 17 above the N17,000 the least paid government worker was earning before the introduction of the N18,000 minimum wage.

According to sources at the meeting, the government delegates said if they concededto the demand, the Federal Government wage bill would swell by N54 billion per annum.

To government, acceeding would also imply undertaking another wage review as well as drawing up a supplementary budget.

Those options, according to the sources, were not attractive to government.

The government has in the meantime shifted from its old position by agreeing that the minimum wage be paid to all workers across board from levels one to 17.

Government, it was further learnt, had agreed that all public sectorworkers would benefit from the outcome of the ongoing negotiations with the organised labour

However, the meeting could not reach a final conclusion as government offered to top the current wage bill with only N10 billion per annum as against the N54 billion increase, which the labour demanded.

Consequently, the meeting was adjourned till 3p.m tomorrow for further discussion.