This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, in Abuja, while addressing members of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC at a public presentation of a publication titled, “Contemporary History of Working Class Struggles.”
According to the minister, the increment in the minimum wage was necessary due to the current global inflation that has impacted negatively on citizens’ purchasing power.
He expressed delight that the 2019 Minimum Wage Act included a new clause for a review which would make it easier for the government.
He said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government had commenced the wage adjustment with members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Ngige said, “The inflation is worldwide, we shall adjust the minimum wage in conformity with what is happening and much more important, the 2019 Minimum Wage Act has a new clause for a review.
“That adjustment has started with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), because the stage they are, with their primary employers, the Ministry of Education, is a Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA, negotiations”.
“Under the principles of offer and acceptance, which is that of collective bargaining, ASUU can look at the offer they gave us and make a counter offer, but they have not done that. If they do that, we are bound to look at their offer. These are the ingredients of collective negotiations.
He added stated, “If you don’t work, you won’t eat,” adding that labour provided the riches of any nation as well as the prosperity of every family.
He, however, advised the executives of affiliate unions of the Nigeria Labour Congress to familiarise themselves with labour laws.
Plans, he added, were being put in place to convert the Michael Imoudu Institute of Labour Studies, Ilorin, Kwara State, into a degree-awarding institute.
He said that in the current economic situation, the current minimum wage of N30,000 would not, in the present economic reality, pay workers’ transportation fares to work for a month.
Also speaking, President of the Trade Union Congress, Festus Osifo, who said that the sole aim of the labour movement in the country was to protect the interest of workers.
If not for the struggle of the founding fathers of the movement in the country, the story would have been different today, he said.