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REPS PUT PRESSURE ON FG OVER MINIMUM WAGE

By NBF News
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The leadership of National Assembly continued mounting pressures on the Federal Government to comply fully with the implementation of the N18, 000 minimum wage.

Following the intervention of the leadership of the National Assembly, indications emerged on Thursday that the federal government might have no option but to accept full implementation of the Minimum Wage Act.

Although a definite decision has not been communicated to the public after a closed door meeting with the Minister for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the leadership of House of Representatives, it was gathered that the Minister was persuaded to comply with the Act.

President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Minimum Wage of N18, 000 per month for the least worker on March 2011; the refusal to implement it had forced the Labour movement to issue a warning strike beginning from next week.

To avoid the strike, the House had in a motion called for dialogue with NLC and TUC and other stakeholders.

In one of the meetings on Thursday, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal was said to have asked Wogu to persuade relevant stakeholders to comply with the Minimum Wage Act pending any future development.

A source at the meeting, which led to the late arrival of the Speaker for the plenary, said that the lawmakers reasoned that since there was already a law backing the payment of the N18, 000 minimum wage, it was better to advise government at all levels to obey the Act. Saturday Sun learnt that the meeting was attended by the Director-General Budget, Bright Okogwu and other stakeholders.

The labour leaders were equally urged to make themselves available for open to dialogue in order to get the issue resolved.

Thursday's meeting was a continuation of the meeting, which started on Wednesday, while the Speaker announced that the meeting would still continue yesterday until an amicable solution to the impasse is found.

The House had on Wednesday invited the leadership of the two unions and the Labour Minister, Emeka Wogu to a peace talk with its leadership.