NECA seeks compromise in implementation of minimum wage
President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the new minimum wage bill into law on April 18 this year, but disagreements between labour and government over consequential adjustment of wages has caused a delay in its implementation.
Director-General of NECA, Timothy Adewale, who spoke to newsmen after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday, said both parties should compromise to resolve the issues.
“What we have advised us that in negotiation, the principle of giving and take is important. They must not be fixated with their positions; in other words, you move positions and meet at an agreeable position.
“You can arrive at a win-win situation and that is what we have been urging the two parties that in the interest of those workers that are very expectant, there is a need for both parties to arrive at a conclusion in the first week of September.”
Adewale said that almost 80 per cent of private businesses were already paying higher than the N30, 000 minimum wage.
He said the item on the agenda of the meeting between NECA and Osinbajo was “the issue of regulatory bodies working at cross purposes.”
He pointed out that this would be against ease of doing business being championed by the Office of the Vice President and Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
“What we are saying is that we may not have access to the Office of the Vice President every now and then to escalate issues for his attention.
“And while we do not also want to be running to the court to seek relief on the issue of non-accessibility of some of the chief executives of regulatory bodies, we want a situation where clearing desk would be created in the Vice President’s office, where we can escalate these issues and they are resolved amicably in the interest of national development and the economy,” he stated.
Adewale noted that in spite of the challenges, PEBEC has handled the issues and ensured an enabling business environment, but pointed out that all regulatory bodies have not keyed into the initiative.
“As a matter of fact, much business has been made but what we are saying is that it is not all regulatory bodies of government that are on the same page with the government on the desirables.
“We have instances where some of them shut down businesses without first exploring the dialogue option and there are instances where of infractions or interventions from government agencies outside the law setting them up,” he stated.
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