The President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has stated that the N30,000 national minimum wage agreed by all stakeholders and submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari, by the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Negotiation Committee was a compromise figure.
Comrade Wabba has also insisted that the committee has fully completed its working with all the stakeholders fully represented, including the governors, before the figure was arrived at and agreed upon.
To this end, the NLC president pointed out that the committee has concluded its work; and workers would not accept anything less than the agreed N30,000 from the Executive and the National Assembly.
He said the new national minimum wage of N30,000 was a product of intense and robust negotiations at the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Negotiation Committee that lasted for one year between November 2017 to November 2018.
He explained that the state governments were represented by six states, one state from each of the six geo-political zones of Nigeria; while a letter was sent by the committee to every state to send in their memorandum as their input to the national minimumwage negotiations.
Wabba said: “It is on record that 21 States responded by sending memoranda with figures. Subsequently, public hearings were conducted in each of the geo-political zones in the country. The State governments were all represented at the zonal hearings and made their input to discussions towards a new national minimum wage.
“The demand of organized labour was N66,500. From the memoranda submitted to the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Negotiation Committee by State governments, there were proposals by some states to even pay higher than the negotiated national minimum wage of N30,000.
“After extended and extensive negotiations by the Tripartite Committee, a final compromise figure of N30,000 was agreed by all the partners – Government, Organized Labour and Employers in the Private Sector.
“This agreement took on board prevailing economic indices and factors especially as outlined in Convention 131 and Recommendation 95 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention on Criteria and Procedure for Collective Bargaining especially towards arriving at a National Minimum Wage for any country.
“It was on the basis of this agreement that the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Negotiation Committee concluded its work and submitted its Report to Mr. President on the 6th of November, 2018. This ended the process of negotiations for a new national minimum wage for Nigerian workers.”