The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, says the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Ayuba Wabba is being economical with the truth.
He stated this on Tuesday while appearing on a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“The NLC President is being economical with the truth. I told them that this name you people have inserted there is an invalid nomination.
“It was on that basis that I asked Mr Kokori to give me his Curriculum Vita (CV). As a matter of fact, this NLC President came to my office and lied to me that the Vice President asked them to bring a nomination.
“And I told him, it cannot stand. You know what the Act says. Based on that, I wrote to the Vice President pointing out that I should nominate. As at two weeks ago, the Vice President said he didn’t see them,” he said.
But reacting, the NLC President faulted the Minister for the delay in the constitution of the board, blaming the action on an alleged lack of communication between the Federal Government and the labour.
While maintaining that Kokori was not recommended by the labour, he insisted that his appointment was based on a recommendation from the Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) being a member.
He said: “The issue of Kokori’s appointment was not the issue mainly, it was inaugurating the board. So clearly speaking, there is a breakdown in communication. That communication which was made public to Nigerians only came at the eve of the inauguration two days ago.
“We are social partners in this particular issue. It’s a labour market institution. We shouldn’t wait until the 11th hour. Labour should have been informed. Even him Kokori should have been informed.
“Even now, there is no formal communication to him. After the Minister invited him to his house and had dinner to say you have been appointed, there is no formal communication to labour.
When asked when the implementation of the new national minimum wage would commence, the Minister said he doesn’t know.
He, however, explained that the Federal Government would constitute an Implementation Committee comprising of seven ministers and the Salaries and Wages Commission.
“An implementation committee on the government sides would be inaugurated today in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
“There are about seven ministers who are there. The head of the Civil Service of the Federation will chair the committee, the Chairman, Salaries Income and Wages Commission will be the secretary and we will have the secretariat,” he said.
Ngige’s comment follows the faceoff between himself and the NLC over the constitution and inauguration of the board for the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
Members of the Labour Union have been aggrieved following the replacing of Frank Kokori as the Chair of NSITF Board with Enejamo-Isire and his subsequent reappointment as the chair the board of Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies.