Labour Strike: Abuja airport, banks open for business

The Federal Government yesterday said it would have to sack workers in order to meet the wage bill of N580 billion required to meet labour’s demand on the new national minimum wage. The government said it would cost N580bn to meet the demand.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said this in Abuja when the leadership of United Labour Congress paid him a courtesy visit.

The labour had on Wednesday given the government a two-week ultimatum to meet its demand for the consequential adjustment of the N30,000 new national minimum wage.

Ngige yesterday said that the government was avoiding a situation where it would have to “retrench some workers.”

He urged the organised labour to accept the consequential adjustment from levels 7 to 17, adding that the government had only three months left to implement the new minimum wage.

He said the implementation of the new minimum wage had commenced from grade level 1 to 6, adding that this had helped those on the lower rug of the ladder in the civil service to move up.

Joe Ajaero, President of UCL, appealed for prompt payment of the new minimum wage, stressing that the private sector must also be compelled to pay the N30, 000.

Meanwhile, while meeting with the new leadership of the Trade Union Congress at the State House in Abuja yesterday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said labour “must find ways to work with a government that is honest and wants to work to resolve the issue transparently.

“Let us give ourselves room to negotiate properly. The president wants an honest, open process, we will be transparent and honest about it. Labour leaders should give us the benefit of the doubt,” he says.

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