Minimum Wage: Again Niger, Labour Meeting Ends in Deadlock

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By Laleye Dipo Minna

The meeting between organised labour and officials of the Niger State government over the new minimum wage has again ended in a deadlock.

The government team to the meeting was led by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed Ketso, while that of labour was spearheaded by the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Yakubu Garba.

Though the state government commenced the payment of the minimum wage last week when workers started drawing their January 2020 salaries, the payment was restricted to junior workers on salary grade level 1-6.

The senior civil servants were exempted from the arrangement because they did not get the consequential adjustment as directed by the federal government.

The first meeting on the issue of the consequential adjustment payment took place last Saturday but both parties could not reach an agreement resulting in another meeting fixed for Monday which was also unable to resolve the problem.

The Labour team, THISDAY learnt, maintained its ground that all workers must enjoy the new minimum wage, as the exclusion of senior civil servants would not be acceptable.

The delegation to the meeting dispersed without agreeing on another day for them to meet, however THISDAY learnt that officials of government had rushed to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to brief him on the latest development.

When contacted, the state NLC Chairman Yakubu Garba said: “We are still where we were”

Garba insisted that the ultimatum given to government to pay all workers would lapse on Friday after which an industrial action will commence on Monday, February 4.

The state government had earlier released N150 million to the NLC for the payment of the consequential adjustment to senior civil servants, which was not collected, because the organised labour believes “it is not our responsibility to pay workers’ salaries”.