By Adejuyigbe olorunfemi
It was to no avail yesterday as the negotiation between the Federal Government and Labour congress was stalled as agreement to implement the new minimum wage was not reached, even as both sides agreed to continue negotiations on the consequential adjustment of salaries for workers on Thursday, Saharaweeklyng.com reports
The meeting lasted eight hours, which began by 5pm and ended at 2am on Thursday. Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, told journalists that both bodies have consented to meet by 7pm today.
The Labour congress was led into Wednesday’s meeting by the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, President of the Trade Union Congress, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, former president of TUC, Bobboi Kaigama, NLC Deputy President, Comrade Amaechi Asogwuni, Chairman Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, Simon Achaver, NLC’s General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugbaoja, JNPSNC Secretary, Alade Lawal, President of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, Ibrahim Khaleel, and JNPSNC member, Lawrence Amaechi.
The government team had Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi- Esan, Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of State and Employment, Festus Keyamo and the Acting Chairman, National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta n other government officials.
The minister said that the meeting was adjourned to finalize some matters that was left unattended to.
He said that assignments has been delegated to some certain people on both sides, with the committee expecting a feedback from them.
On Wednesday, both parties failed to disclosed details of the areas they had agreed on to journalists.
The minister said: “As you can see, we met and broke into committees, we come back, we finally agreed on so many areas which hitherto we could not agree on and we are adjourning the meeting. We have given assignments to some people on both sides and we will go and do the work and get back to us. The work involved is enormous. We are giving them the entire day to get back to us.
“Issues of money and wage adjustments as per different wage structures; we have about 12 wage structures presently in Nigeria which you know of. We don’t want to make mistakes that could be fatal and thereby put the whole exercise we have done in jeopardy.
“Therefore, we have consensually agreed that we reconvene this meeting at 7pm today. This will enable those that we have given assignments to complete the assignments and bring them back to us.
“We are very okay with the meeting. It is moving on smoothly and as you can see from here there is conviviality, it is very cordial, nobody is fighting. We disagreed about some ares but we have agreed back. That is the important thing. Let the work continue.”
NLC President, Wabba said that some progress had been made but added that an agreement he not been reached.
Speaking to Journalists, he said: “It is the Collective Bargaining Process that has actually lasted this long. Some progress has been made but we have not been able to conclude and then have a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and some committees need to do some computation. You can see that they have worked up to early hours of today. That is in the true spirit of collective bargaining. It is give no take and that is what we are trying to do to get the whole process concluded and put very thing behind all of us.
“In collective bargaining, if a meeting is adjourned, you should know that that is not our practice. Our practice is that until we are able to conclude the issues and we are able to inform them (Nigerians)
appropriately but not midway when we are making progress. We cannot abruptly disrupt the process. At the appropriate time we should be able to give details.
“We cannot speak on the percentage until we finish the negotiation. The matters under consideration are implementation and consequential adjustment.
“That is mere speculation. We should work on the basis of information that is credible.”
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