The umbrella organisation for employers in the Organised Private Sector in Nigeria, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has described the delay in transmitting the new minimum wage bill to the National Assembly for passage by the presidency as counter-productive and distruptive to businesses in the country.
In a statement made available to newsmen, the Director-General of NECA, Timothy Olawale said the delay will inevitably result in an industrial action by organised labour in January 2019.
According to the NECA boss, seven weeks after the report was submitted by a National Minimum Wage Committee inaugurated by the President, the government was still planning to subject the report to a review by another technical committee.
The statement partly read
“Globally, there is a recognised and acceptable process of setting a National Minimum Wage as enshrined in the ILO Convention 131. This process had been adopted in previous National Minimum Wage setting in Nigeria and was meticulously applied by the National Minimum Wage Committee inaugurated by the President in December 2017.
“It was expected that following the submission of the National Minimum Wage Committee’s Report to the President on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, expedited action would be taken in transmitting a bill to the National Assembly as promised by President Muhammadu Buhari. This delay in the completion of the process had led to the proposed strike by labour, which is totally undesirable and should be avoided.
“Businesses are at present encumbered by several challenges and any avoidable labour action at the beginning of the year or any time whatsoever would be counter-productive, disruptive and would not be welcomed.”
As the back and forth between the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Nigerian Federal Government persists over the demand for a N30,000 minimum wage, the labour body had described the delay as ‘provocative’.
The NLC’s General Secretary, Peter Ozo-Eson accused the Government of unnecessarily delaying the implementation of the proposed minimum wage.