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Reps to engage Labour to prevent strike over minimum wage



In response to the looming threat of a strike over the minimum wage, the House of Representatives has decided to engage with representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to find a resolution.

Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, who chaired the plenary session on Thursday in the absence of Speaker Abbas Tajudeen, assured the nation that discussions with labour unions would aim to address the ongoing dispute concerning the implementation of a new minimum wage in Nigeria.

This decision came after the adoption of a motion on a matter of personal explanation raised by Kelechi Nwogu, the member representing Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency of Rivers State, during the plenary session.

Nwogu reminded his colleagues about the impending strike announced by organised labour, scheduled to commence on May 31, due to disagreements with the Federal Government regarding the approval of a new minimum wage.

He emphasized the need for proactive measures by the House to avert the strike, pointing out that despite the House’s adoption of a motion on March 16 calling for a new minimum wage, the committee responsible for proposing a living wage for Nigerian workers had not yet reported back to the House.

This delay contravened the House Standing Order, which requires committees to complete their tasks within 30 days, unless an extension is granted.

Nwogu stated, “If you look at Order 18 Rule 1 Sub 5 of our Standing Order, it says any matter referred to a committee shall be treated within 30 days, otherwise the committee stands discharged after 60 days, except there is an extension of time. This House adopted a motion on the need to provide a living wage for workers in Nigeria, sponsored by the deputy minority leader and others on March 16. The report was supposed to be presented to the House before this time.”

Echoing the urgency of the situation, Minority Leader Kingsley Chinda urged the House to take swift action to prevent the strike, stating, “Rather than allow labour to go on strike.”