Minimum Wage Update: We Are Monitoring NASS, says NLC

The Nigeria Labor Congress has said it is anticipating the transmission of an official
bill on the new the lowest pay permitted by law from the Presidency to the National Assembly.

There has been dread of new emergency in the transaction between the organized labour and the Federal Government on the new the wage.
The fear followed a disclosure by a source at the NASS that 
lawmakers would go on another recess on or before the presentation of the bill on January 23, 2019.
The recess, it was gathered, would enable the lawmakers to prepare for elections in the February 2019 elections.

The General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Peter Ozo-Eson, told The Punch in an exclusive interview in Abuja that the union was watching the situation with interest and monitoring the activities of the National Assembly and Federal Government on the new minimum wage.

He said, “All we are concerned with is the agreement we have with the FG (transmission of the bill on or before January 23, 2019.) The matter of election timetable is up to them (FG and NASS). All we are concerned with is the Memorandum of Understanding that we had with the FG which has dates that things should be done. However they get that done within the election timetable is their own business.

“We do not want to keep going back and forth on this matter. We are holding the FG responsible for honouring the MoU which says the executive bill will be at the NASS by January 23, 2019. Once that is done, we will know how to engage the NASS.”

Also speaking with The Punch on the matter, the NLC’s Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, said the new twist about election timetable and NASS recess were unnecessary distractions.

Upah said, “We are monitoring the situation at the NASS and hoping for the best and NASS members’ support to pass the bill. NASS members have in the past made sacrifices to advance the course of labour and democracy in the country. Therefore, we rely on them and will continue to solicit their support and understanding to ensure that this bill does not suffer any setback on account of their absence or otherwise.”

Asked if the NLC was worried that the issue of election timetable was being introduced into the process despite the MoU between the organised labour and the FG, Upah said it was an issue that were not envisaged by parties involved in the discussion in the past two weeks.

“When this process was perfected, we at labour did not envisage that it would drag to this time of the year. But now that it has happened, our prayer remains the support of the NASS members,” he noted.


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