The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, has assured workers that the Federal Government is working hard to alleviate their plights.
The Minister gave the assurance on Monday, shortly after he was forced to stop speaking from the podium at the May Day event in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
He explained that the government was putting measures in place, in order to ensure that the private sector was carried along in the payment of minimum wage to workers.
“On the issue of minimum wage, the workers themselves and their leaders know that we employ what we call tripeptide negotiation. It’s not only the government or public sector that will pay, there will also be private sector people that will obey that law on minimum wage. That is why we’ve tried to carry everybody along.
“We have finished the framework for the composition of the committee and we have passed it on to the government to source for requisite, qualified, fit and proper persons that will man this committee. That is the stage we are in now,” Senator Ngige disclosed to reporters.
He noted that political forces would not be allowed to masquerade as Nigerian workers, to make political statements at the expense of legitimately aggrieved unionists.
The Minister, however reiterated government’s commitment to addressing workers’ challenges such as the minimum wage and backlog of promotion arrears among others.
Reacting to the disruption of the Workers’ Day celebration in the Federal Capital Territory, he said: ”What has happened is like some people who are ignorant, or not really workers have infiltrated this arena and they started causing some problems.
“We are going to address the issue of minimum wage, we are going to also address the issue of backlog of promotion arrears and allowances of all sorts. We captured them in the 2016 budget but for some reasons, the releases were not forthcoming.
“The Senate President has assured that we are going to capture them in the 2017 budget and once it is captured in the appropriation bill, the Minister of Finance will release the money for those payments”.