OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
The tripartite committee on the new national minimum wage is to hold eight zonal public hearing across the country to consider memorandum from organised Labour, governor and employers of Labour as organised Labour are believed to have presented a new demand of N66,500 to government.
The zonal hearing is expected to be conducted in the six geopolitical zones as well as Lagos and Abuja beginning from April 23, 2018.President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba who confirmed the upward review of the demand of organised Labour and the conduct of the zonal public hearings however refused to confirm the new figure presented to the government for consideration.
Wabba who said he will not be drawn to mention figures because it is not relevant at the moment said organised Labour considered the current realities in the country, certain variables and current inflation in the country to make an upward review of its demand.He told newsmen the new submission from Labour was not different from the initial submission, saying “we made a demand almost two years ago and that demand was the beginning of the process. The demand of Labour was based on the agreement we had on the five year circle which we believe was due and also considering the level off inflation, we made a demand of N56,000.
“At the tripartite level, after the committee was constituted by Mr. President, all state governors and employers of Labour, including the private sector and organised Labour were requested to resubmit their memorandum to the committee for discussion to commence.”Therefore, states have submitted their own memorandum, the federal government have submitted their own and NECA have submitted theirs. Jointly, Labour has resubmitted their own memo. But what we did was to look at the dynamics of the times because the discussion will be evidence based.
“So, we undertook a study and made a submission. This is the logic and not that we have submitted a new position. It was the same memo that we submitted, but what what we did was to look at the indices because a lot have changed between 2015 and 2018.”So, that cannot be regarded as a change of position because the process of arriving at a minimum wage in line with convention 121 is evidence based. Everybody submitting memo or document will have to back it up with logic and not just quote figures from the air.”If due to inflation, there has been minor changes, we thought that should be done because we felt that is what the opportunity is meant for. That document has been submitted and not a new document. It is just that we felt that there are new Variables which we felt should be strengthened.
“Every variable that is supposed to be considered for a discussion on the new minimum wage has been considered. We looked at the current realities to present a very robust position especially inflation. They are variables that are outside our control which you mu use.”Clearly, what I want to inform you about is that we are committed to what we have. Yes, we have changed the variables, but the principles and the logic has not changed. Every other Organisation will do same.
“Even at the tripartite level, every memo is presented by the Organisation which will be made public during the public hearing at different location across the country and each states is expected to make their presentation. Some states have made their presentations to us which. We felt is reasonable. For now, NECA, Labour and states have made their presentation and they are already being considered.”The public hearing will begin on the 23rd of April across the six geopolitical zones and states within each zone will converge at the venue and organised Labour in the zones will also make presentations. We have give Lagos and Abuja an additional space. We have received notices to tidy up the process of public hearing.”
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