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Minimum wage: Labour suspends strike as tripartite panel submits report to Muhammadu Buhari today

Organised labour has called off the nationwide industrial action scheduled to commence on Tuesday (today) to press home workers’ demand for a new national minimum wage.

The National Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, announced the suspension at the end of the 10pm meeting of the tripartite committee set up to come up with the new minimum wage on Monday.
Wabba said the decision to suspend the action was reached after agreements were reached and documents signed.
“Having reached this position and agreements signed, the proposed strike action is hereby suspended,” the labour leader said.
Wabba, however, refused to disclose the figure of the new minimum wage arrived at by the committee, stating that the figure would only be made public after the committee’s report would have been presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by 4.15pm on Tuesday.
He, however, said only one figure would be presented to the President.
The Chairman of the committee, Amma Pepple, expressed delight that their assignment had been concluded.
“I am happy to report to you that we have concluded our assignment and we will submit our report to the President by 4.15pm on Tuesday. We will reveal the figure at the presentation,” she said.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, thanked members of the committee for doing a wonderful job and described the process as a long journey.
“The committee has worked assiduously to reach the conclusion,” he said.
Earlier, the tripartite committee set up by the Federal Government to come up with a new national minimum wage for the country concluded its assignment on Monday.
The committee chaired by a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Amma Pepple, had recommended two figures, N24,000 and N30,000, for minimum wage.
Pepple disclosed this to journalists at the end of the committee’s marathon meeting held to beat the indefinite strike action declared by labour unions and scheduled to start on Tuesday.
In the process of negotiation, state governors said they could only pay N22,500; the Federal Government proposed N24,000 while the labour and organised private sector settled for N30,000.
The labour and the Federal Government did not shift ground at the Monday meeting.
Pepple said the committee would present the two figures to the executive arm of government which will take a final decision after due consultation.
She said the final decision would thereafter be sent to the National Assembly.
“We have concluded but we have a little challenge about Chapter 5 of our report. That is the section where we report the negotiation and the figures we used for negotiation and the figure that we concluded on.
“The committee came up with two figures. The Federal Government suggested N24,000 and labour, as well as the organised private sector, gave a figure of N30,000.
“There is no stalemate. We have finished and we have signed the report but what we are insisting on is that the strike should be called off. We are waiting for the President to give us a date to submit the report. The report will go through a process. It will go through the Federal Government as well as the National Assembly.”


On the industrial action scheduled to commence on Tuesday, Pepple said, “We have pleaded with them (labour leaders) to call off the strike and they have said they are going to consult. So we are likely to come back. We shall be reconvening at 10pm.”
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