Abuja May Day fracas: Set up tripartite c’ttee on minimum wage, NECA tells FG
FOLLOWING the fracas over national minimum wage at Eagle Square, Abuja, venue of Workers Day celebration, Monday, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, (NECA) has urged the Federal Government to set up a tripartite committee on the minimum wage issue.
It also reiterated its earlier position that private sector employers would not be able to afford any pay increase, saying the priority now should be for all stakeholders to join hands with government to deliver on inclusive growth that will ensure job creation and security.
It will be recalled that the pandemonium that trailed the May Day rally prevented government officials, including the leadership of the National Assembly and some ministers from delivering their prepared addresses.
Reacting to the incident, Director-General of NECA, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo, said: “The unfortunate incident was needless and avoidable, if government had proactively done the needful.”
According to him, there was an understanding that the new minimum wage would be due for discussion after five years.
He said: “In effect, the 2011 agreement, ordinarily, should be open for discussion in 2016.
Government should not have waited for workers’ repeated clamour for discussions before acting in good faith.
“What government must do, therefore, without delay is to immediately constitute the committee and convene a meeting to start off the discussions on the new minimum wage. The position of NECA on new minimum wage is that the time is not right for an increase. This is against the backdrop of the national economic depression and its attendant devastating effects on organised businesses. ‘’Private sector employers cannot afford a pay increase at this point in time. This is the position the employers will canvass at the National Minimum Wage Committee. The priority now should be for all stakeholders to join hands with government to deliver on inclusive growth that will ensure job security and job creation”.