Amidst the growing rage for the upward review of the national minimum wage, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, says employees cannot dictate to their employers what they ought to earn but an agreement must be reached collectively.
A statement by the Director (Press) at the Ministry, Samuel Olowookere, said the minister said this when the new Director-General of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, Mr. Timothy Olawale; and his predecessor, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo, visited him.
Ngige said, “We need to arrive at a figure which the employers can afford to pay as an employee cannot fix a figure for the employer. Rather, it must be based on mutual agreement by the tripartite partners.
“It is not a function of moving motions or voting at the National Tripartite Negotiation Committee that the figure must be as the organised labour appears to make it look.
“There is absolutely therefore no need to heat up the polity. The government’s proposed new minimum wage figure is clearly based on critical facts and indices incapable of causing disequilibrium in the economy.”
The minister said it was important for the organised labour to accept a new minimum wage based on the capacity and the ability of both the government and the private sector to pay.
He appealed to NECA to appeal to the organised labour to accede to the new minimum wage. figure mutually agreeable to all the social partners.