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Minimum Wage: Labour Unions vows to continue with strike despite court order

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The organized Labour in Nigeria have vowed to press on with her planned strike despite a court order granted by Justice Sanusi Kado

The strike as scheduled will commence from November 6 if the government refuses to meet their demands on a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The unions are demanding N30,000 as minimum wage insisting the amount had been agreed at a triparite meeting involving them, the government and private employers of labour.

The federal government, however, insisted on a N24,000 minimum wage, while state governors after a meeting last week said they would only accept a N22,500 minimum wage.

The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, expressed reservations that the N22,500 is lower than that recommended by the federal government.

Mr Ngige, who spoke during an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday said the federal government is not in support of the state government’s proposal.

“The governors have not even done enough. I told them that this N22,500 was even rejected by the federal government,” the minister said.

“The national minimum wage is a national legislation being driven by the federal government of Nigeria in pursuance to item 34 of the exclusive legislative list. But you don’t go and make a law which people will disobey at the initial,” he said.

But the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Abdulaziz Yari, said they have agreed to pay N22,500 to workers.

Mr Yari, who is also the governor of Zamfara State explained that the acceptable minimum wage “must be done in such a way that total personnel cost does not exceed 50 per cent of the revenue available to each state”.

He said the forum is more concerned with the development in infrastructure, health, educational sectors.

“The welfare of all Nigerians is our ultimate concern. In all our states, we are concerned about the deteriorating economic situation experienced by the vulnerable segment of our population,” Mr Yari said.

You may recall that Justice Sanusi Kado of National Industrial court on Friday in Abuja ordered labour unions not to commence the planned strike following an exparte motion brought by the federal government.

However, one of the labour leaders, Mr Lawal, said the indefinite strike can only be stopped when the government fulfilled its part on the minimum wage issue.

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