Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, has said that employees cannot dictate to their employers what to earn.
In a statement by Samuel Olowooekere, Director of Press in the ministry, the minister stated this when the new Director-General of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, Timothy Olawale, and his predecessor, Olusegun Oshinowo, visited him.
“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 added that it was important for the organised labour to accept a new minimum wage based on what the government and the private sector can afford to pay.
According to the Olowookere, the minister urged NECA to appeal to the organised labour, to accept the new minimum wage.
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, is proposing N30, 000 as minimum wage, while the federal government said it can afford N24, 000. Meanwhile the state governors said they can only afford N20, 000, saying it was still difficult to pay the current national wage of N18, 000.