By Bimbola Oyesola
In order to avoid the repeat of the fracas witnessed at the Workers May Day celebration at Eagle Square, Abuja, on Monday, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has charged the Federal Government to immediately constitute the tripartite committee to begin discussions on the New National Minimum Wage.
The employers’ associations apex body expressed its displeasure at the turn of events at the Workers Day Celebration during which aggrieved workers allegedly disrupted the celebrations due to the non-resolution of the National Minimum Wage issue. It would be recalled that the event was disrupted by workers who had barred government officials, including the leadership of the National Assembly and some Federal Ministers, from delivering their prepared addresses.
Reacting to the incident, the Director General of NECA, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo, noted that, “the unfortunate incident was needless and avoidable if government had proactively done the needful.”
He noted that there was an understanding that the National Minimum Wage would be due for discussion after five years.
“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,” he said.
Oshinowo averred that, “there is a time-tested and enshrined procedure for the discussion of the National Minimum Wage, which is premised on the principle of Social Dialogue and Collective Bargaining among the tripartite.
According to him, this entails the setting up of a National Minimum Wage Committee comprising representatives of the Federal Government, led by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, state governments, usually represented by three state governors, employers in the private sector under the aegis of NECA and Organised Labour as represented by NLC and TUC.