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Minimum wage: We have not agreed -Ngige

The Federal Government said it has not reached agreement with the leaders of the Nigerian Labour Congress on the new minimum wage.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige disclosed this on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said after consultations it proposed N24,000 as the new minimum wage for civil servants.
Ngige was responding to media reports quoting the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, saying that the tripartite committee discussing the demand for new minimum wage has agreed to increase it from the current N19,200 to N30,000.
“Such information is not true,” Mr Ngige said.
The minister said when the committee reconvened on October 5, after the NLC had called off its nationwide strike, “ the organised labour came down to N30,000, the organised private sector came down to N25,000.”
He also said the federal government had to consult with the 36 state governors. After the consultations, he said, the federal government proposed N24,000 while governors proposed N20,000.
Mr Ngige said the government is therefore still consulting and negotiations is ongoing.
He said in accordance with Convention 131 of International Labour Organisation, the most important thing to consider in fixing the new minimum wage is the ability to pay.
The NLC had initially proposed a N50,000 minimum wage for workers, a move opposed by many state governors, many of whom are unable to regularly pay the current N18,000 minimum wage.

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