By Ezeocha Nzeh
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliate bodies have been asked to bend their position and reach an amicable solution with the Federal government on the minimum wage negotiations.
Making this appeal in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) said Labour should consider the interest of the Nigerian people who would ultimately suffer if the crisis persists.
In the statement signed by Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, its Chairman and Secretary respectively, the group called on Labour to reason with the position of Government and return to the negotiation table.
“Government’s position is formed from an understanding of its revenue and expenditure, not because it is selfish, but because it would not propose a sum that it cannot pay.
“It is remarkable that the offer of the Federal Government, compared to that of the Organised Private Sector and the State Governments, is the highest in fact.
“Notwithstanding, while we acknowledge that more can be done for the welfare of the Nigerian worker, we must start from somewhere. The proposition of the Federal Government to pay 24,500 Naira is a significant increase in the previous minimum wage. It is a good start going forward.”
The group noted that it was a good start on the minimum wage conversation and can be built upon in the coming years, adding that labour should accept the begin with accepting the government position at this critical period.
The group went further to note that a strike action by labour could have far-reaching negative effect that would not only affect the Nigerian Government, but more painfully, hit hard on the everyday Nigerian people.
“The good thing is that government is negotiating and willing to sit on the table and improve the working conditions of the Nigerian people. Labour should, in the interest of the Nigerian people, sit on the table with government and heed to their engagements.”