The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has warned against willful salary reduction in states.
The Deputy Director in charge of Press at the Ministry, Mr. Samuel Olowookere, quoted the minister in a statement on Tuesday as saying that the Minimum Wage was a product of an act of parliament which should be obeyed.
Ngige advised state governments to ensure they negotiate issues that have to do with workers’ salaries to avoid industrial crisis.
The statement added that Ngige had intervened in the raging industrial dispute between the organised labour and the Nasarawa State Government.
According to the statement, the minister has scheduled a meeting to deliberate on the dispute between the organised labour and the Nasarawa State Government on Wednesday.
He urged the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to put on hold the planned picketing of government offices in the state to await the outcome of the meeting.
“Similarly, to avoid further escalation of disputes of this type all over the states of the Federation, state governments are hereby advised to always negotiate any issue that touches on the salaries and wages of workers, in order to ensure that they obtain a Collective Bargaining Agreement before these remunerations are tampered with,” he said.
“I wish to add for the avoidance of doubt that the issue of minimum wage flows out from the Minimum Wage Act, 2011. It is therefore a law of the land that must be respected by all in both public and private institutions.
“In the same vein, the issue of arbitrary reduction in the hours of work runs against the International Labour Organisation regulation; Convention 1, which has been adopted and domesticated by Nigeria. This law prescribes eight hours of work in a day and not more than 40 hours in a week.”