The Federal Government on Wednesday stated that after consultations it proposed N24,000 as the new minimum wage for civil servants but the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, wants N30,000.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, stated this while briefing State House correspondents after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC.
He said after the NLC called off the the nationwide strike, it agreed to N30,000 as minimum wage for workers in the public sector and N25,000 for their counterparts in the private sector.
Ngige, however, made it clear that the federal government would be able to afford N24,000, stating that the government had to consult with the 36 state governors and after that, the federal government proposed N24,000 while governors proposed N20,000.
The minister was responding to media reports quoting the president of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, saying that the tripartite committee discussing the demand for new minimum wage has agreed to increase it from the current N19,200 to N30,000.
“Such information is not true,” he said.
Ngige said when the committee reconvened on October 5, after the NLC had called off its nationwide strike, “the organised labour came down to N30,000, the organised private sector came down to N25,000.”
He also said the federal government had to consult with the 36 state governors. After the consultations, he said, the federal government proposed N24,000 while governors proposed N20,000.
The minister said the government is therefore still consulting and negotiations is ongoing.
He said in accordance with Convention 131 of International Labour Organisation, the most important thing to consider in fixing the new minimum wage is the ability to pay.
The NLC had initially proposed a N50,000 minimum wage for workers, a move opposed by many state governors, many of whom are unable to regularly pay the current N18,000 minimum wage.