The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Wednesday promised to resolve the lingering problem over the adjustment of the new N30,000 national minimum wage, the on-going university workers strike and other lingering crisis affecting the industrial relation sector.
Ngige said this while assuring that he would be coming back to the ministry with a wealth of experience.
Speaking with journalists after his inauguration at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Ngige assured of a good working relationship with all the trade unions in the country.
He said: “We are bringing the first experience, we have been there for 3 and a half years and the President has evaluated all our efforts and felt we should get back there. Going back there doesn’t mean we will go back there and sleep or we should be doing merry.”
Ngige stated that there are many issues presently on the ground to tackle, stressing that “we have so many outstanding issues to be addressed, some of them urgently. As we speak NASU, SSANU under the JAC are on strike and the university system is now going comatose so we have to address that urgently.”
He added: “The issue of minimum wage consequential adjustment; my permanent secretary is handling it and they have made some progress. By tomorrow we will get the notes from him and I and the minister of state will know how to queue in but the most important thing is that we want to make sure that the matter is addressed and as quickly as possible so we can put smiles on the faces of Nigerian workers.
“I am a man of due processes, if you are a man of due process you will be my friend. Do things the way it should be done and not abnormally.”
“I remain committed to working with the labour unions, the NLC is a federation of some labour unions, you have other federations; we have the Trade Union Congress, we also have the United Labour Congress which has not been officially registered but there are some unions that are there.
“We have about 18 unions there the only reason why we have not registered them is that the unions are not brand new and the law says you must have 12 brand new unions but they are working. So, I am committed to working with the labour unions and labour federations.”