The Nigerian government and the National Labour Congress, NLC, are both set to change grounds on their previous grounds on the ongoing negotiation for the consequential adjustment of the N30.000 minimum wage.
This however would depend on the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting between the Joint National Public Service Negotiation Council, JNPSNC, and the representatives of the government.
The negotiations stalled last month following the inability of the both parties to reach a common ground.
While the organised Labour are insisting on 29 percent for workers on grade levels 07 to 14 and 24 percent for workers on grade levels 15 to 17, the government on its part, is offering 9.5 percent for grade 07 to 14 and 6.5 percent for grade levels 15 to 17.
This prompted Labour to issue an ultimatum that if an agreement isn’t reached before October 16, it would embark on an indefinite strike.
Speaking on the continuation of the conciliatory meeting between Labour and government on Monday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, urged Labour to be open in their discussion so as both parties can have a way out of the minimum wage logjam.
Mr Ngige said, ““This is the continuation of the meeting we held on Wednesday last week and the meeting was fruitful, and I think if we continue in that spirit, we would be able to fix the turn for tomorrow (Tuesday) meeting.
“This is actually an information sharing meeting so that we can be able to arrive at our destination together. Information is power, you know lack of information can lead to war because there is no information or the information is incorrect.
“We want to use this meeting with you to smoothen some rough edges then in the afternoon I will also meet with the Government side negotiating team and also smoothen rough edges from their own side.
“Like I kept on saying that I’m conciliating this meeting, I am neither for government or for Labour, I am for every body because I’m for all Nigerians. The workers are Nigerians and even the once on government side too are Nigerians . If anything, those on the government side are workers too so we are preponderance of workers in this ministry so with that I welcome you again to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and I hope that our meeting would be fruitful.
“Tomorrow meeting can be one, two or twelve hours depending on what we are able to achieve Today so I appeal to everyone to show some understanding, we are going to discuss dispassionately nothing would be hiding from any body.
“The books of government, I have talk about it before, when I mean books it means budget, 2019 to 2020 when do they utilize 2019 income and expenditures, the government side we met it there and I advise them to prepare to present their case meaningful if they come. I will stay in the meddle as an arbiter do”.
On his part, Deputy President of NLC, Comrade Amaechi Asugwuni, who spoke on behalf of the organised Labour said the meeting was called by the minister to share information.
He said Labour had made considerable shift on her demands from the earlier position on the consequential adjustment of the N30.000 minimum wage.
On the mobilisation for strike, he said, “the meeting tomorrow shall determine everything, but our mobilisation is on top gear for an industrial action from 17th October 2019.”