NLC President Ayuba Wabba (middle) addressing a world press conference at its headquarters in Abuja, on new national minimum wage

No consensus on minimum wage

The Tripartite Committee has again failed to reach a consensus over the new minimum wage of workers in Nigeria, just as President Muhamamadu Buhari appeals for amicable resolution.

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Chairman of the Committee and former Head of Service of the Federation, Ms Ama Pepple, said on Monday in Abuja after the more than nine hours negotiation.

Ms Pepple said after meeting of the committee with representatives of the Federal Government and leaders of the organised labour in attendance.

According to her, the committee will have to submit both the N30,000 minimum wage demanded by the organised labour and the N24,000 proposed by the government to President Muhammadu Buhari for onward submission to the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the government is optimistic that the labour will not proceed on the planned industrial action scheduled to commence on Tuesday.

But the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have yet to take a decision whether or not the strike would go as planned.

President Muhammadu Buhari is reported to have intervened in the impasse and appealed to the labour unions, especially the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to consider what his administration inherited from the previous governments.

The President explained that the present government was doing more with the ‘fewer resources’ at its disposal in putting the nation’s economy right.

He made the remarks when he received members of the Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) led by Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

President Buhari reassured Nigerians that his administration would sustain the massive investments to upgrade and develop the country’s transport and power infrastructure.

He, however, said Nigerians would never forget the “lost opportunity between 1999 and 2015,” when the nation had huge resources at its disposal.

“There is no part of the country I haven’t been to, having attempted to be President four times,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

The President added, “I know the condition of our roads. The rails were literally killed; there was no power despite the admittance of some previous leadership that they spent $16 billion on the sector.

“Today, we are getting our priorities right and we believe that of the three fundamental issues we campaigned on – security, the economy and fighting corruption –; we have remained very relevant and Nigerians believe we have achieved something.”

President Buhari also used the occasion to appreciate the People’s Republic of China for financing some of the rail and power projects in the country through concessionary loans.

“I will do my best to see that where there are possibilities of making a quick improvement on infrastructure, we will do it,” he assured the ARCAN members.

The President took note of some concerns raised by the retired ambassadors such as an appeal for the adjustment of their pension entitlements and retention of diplomatic passport for retired career ambassadors.

Also Senate President Bukola Saraki called on the Federal Government as well as the organised labour to be more concerned about the interest of the people.

He made the appeal on Monday in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu.

The lawmaker asked the government to work together with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), to avert the proposed workers’ strike which he said would put Nigerians in a difficult situation.

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