House of Representatives to Engage Nigeria Labour Congress on Planned Minimum Wage Strike

The House of Representatives has decided to meet with representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in an effort to persuade the union to cancel its planned strike over the minimum wage dispute. Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, who presided over Thursday’s plenary in the absence of Speaker Abbas Tajudeen, assured the public that this dialogue would aim to resolve the ongoing controversy surrounding the demand for a new minimum wage.

This decision came after the adoption of a motion presented by Kelechi Nwogu, the representative for Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency of Rivers State. Nwogu reminded his colleagues that the organized labour has announced plans to commence a strike from May 31 due to disagreements with the Federal Government over the approval of a new minimum wage.

Emphasizing the need for proactive measures, Nwogu recalled that the House had already adopted a motion on March 16 addressing the necessity for a new minimum wage. However, he pointed out that the committee assigned to propose a living wage for Nigerian workers had not yet reported back, despite the House Standing Order requiring committees to complete their tasks within 30 days, or 60 days with an extension.

Nwogu highlighted, “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.”

Adding to the discussion, Minority Leader Kingsley Chinda urged swift action from the House to prevent the strike. “Rather than allow labour to go on strike, we should act swiftly,” Chinda stressed.


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