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NECA urges Buhari to act fast on new wage, avert strike

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President Muhammadu Buhari. PHOTO: SUNDAY AGHAEZE


President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to expedite action on the transmission of the new national minimum wage bill to the National Assembly to avert the planned January 2019 strike by the organised labour.

The Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) which gave the advice expressed concern at the seeming lack of commitment by the Federal Government to concluding the process leading to the implementation of the new wage.

The association lamented that seven weeks after the submission of the tripartite committee’s report on the implementation of the new minimum wage, government is planning to subject the report to review by another technical committee unknown to the process of setting minimum wage.NECA said the delay in the completion of the process led to the proposed strike by labour unions, which is undesirable and should be avoided.

The Director General of NECA, Timothy Olawale, who spoke on the negative implication of the proposed strike in January 2019, said it was worrisome that a nation whose economy is still reeling under the effects of recent recession, would needlessly further drag the economy into avoidable abyss.
Olawale, who said the loss suffered by businesses during the warning strike in September 2018 was yet to be recovered, warned that further disruption of business activities might spell doom for many enterprises.

He urged President Buhari to, without delay, transmit an executive bill to the National Assembly as promised to enable it finalise the process leading to the enactment of a new national minimum wage law, stressing that the economy could not afford another strike.

Labour leaders had given the Federal Government 11 days (since December 21, 2018) to transmit the new national minimum wage bill to the lawmakers, saying industrial peace and harmony would not be guaranteed in the country if their demand is not met before 31st December.

They said two months since the submission of the report by the tripartite committee, which included a bill, it had not been submitted to the National Assembly for passage into law.

The labour leaders warned that the notice served was a signal for the organised labour to resume its suspended nationwide industrial action.They maintained that the technical committee to be set up by the Federal Government is alien to the tripartite process and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions on national minimum wage setting mechanism.


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