Minimum Wage: Committee to hold nationwide public hearing

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The federal government’s Tripartite Committee on the new national minimum wage is to hold public hearing across the country, and gather inputs from stakeholders on a new minimum wage.

Ayuba Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said this while briefing journalists at the end of the Central Working Committee meeting on Wednesday, in Abuja.

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Mr Wabba said the zonal hearing was expected to be conducted in the six geopolitical zones, including Lagos and Abuja beginning from April 23, 2018.

The public hearing is to consider memorandum from organised labour, governors and employers of labour.

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It was reported that the organised labour had recently presented a new demand of over N66,500 to the federal government.

Mr Wabba, who confirmed the upward review of the demand of organised Labour, however, did not state the new figure presented to the tripartite committee for consideration.

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According to him, he will not be drawn to mentioning figures because it is not relevant at the moment, as the organized Labour is considering the current realities in the country.

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“As certain variables and current inflation in the country have made us to make an upward review of the demand.

“The new submission from Labour is not different from the initial submission. We made a demand almost two years ago and that demand was the beginning of the process.

“So, 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 of inflation, we made a demand of N56,000’’ he said.

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He said that the committee after its constitution by President Muhammadu Buhari requested state governors, employers, private sector and organised Labour to resubmit their memoranda for discussion to commence.

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The NLC president said that in furtherance to the request, states, federal government, NECA and Labour had submitted their memos.

“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.

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“It was the same memo that we submitted, but what we did was to look at the indices, because a lot has 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.

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“Everybody submitting memo or document will have to back it up with logic and not just quote figures from the air,’’ he added.

He, however, said that all variables needed to be looked at for discussions on the new minimum wage had been considered.

“Clearly, what I want to inform you about is that we are committed to what we have,’’ Mr Wabba said.

He added that the next Tripartite Committee meeting would be held on April 17, to discuss procedures for the public hearing.

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