Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Wednesday expressed displeasure with the Presidency over its reluctance to transmit to the National Assembly the Tripartite Agreement on National Minimum Wage to the National Assembly.
Recall that State Governors had during a meeting held at the instance of the Presidency pulled out of negotiation over the N30,000 agreement reached by employers of labour and organised private sector which led to the suspension of nationwide strike declared by the organised labour slated for Monday, 5th November, 2018.
According to the 38-page report of the Tripartite Committee on the new National Minimum Wage presented to President Muhammadu Buhari, the “Committee carefully considered the 1981, 2000 and 2011 Acts of the National Minimum Wage and based on its decision prepared a draft National Minimum Wage bill 2018, for onward transmission for necessary consideration of various organs of government including Federal Executive Council, National Economic Council and Council of State as well as National Assembly.”
Similarly, the House urged the present administration to commence the implementation of the agreement reached with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the bid to end the recurring crisis.
The lawmakers who expressed concern over the delay in the peaceful resolution of the nationwide strike which resulted into the shutdown of public-owned universities,
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion of ‘urgent national importance’ sponsored by Sani Zoro (APC-Jigawa).
In his lead debate, Zoro observed that threats of industrial action by organized labour in the face of the stalemate was caused by the failure to facilitate the due process needed for appropriate resolution of the dispute.
“It is disturbing that members of the Parliamentary Staff Association of the National Assembly also picketed our two legislative chambers on Tuesday to draw attention to their grievances.
“The looming industrial action threatened by organized labour, with the potential of paralyzing the nation’s socio-economic and political activities- and its attendant costs can be averted in consistence with National Assembly’s established tradition of intervention that have in the past helped to resolve many labour disputes”.
While reflecting on the suspended strike by members of the Parliamentary Staff Association of the National Assembly (PASAN), the House resolved to set up a joint Ad-hoc Committee of National Assembly with the view to investigate the remote and immediate causes of picketing of the National Assembly.
The Ad-hoc Committee when inaugurated is to make appropriate recommendations to the two legislative chambers for appropriate action.
Meanwhile, academic activities are expected to resume across all the government owned Colleges of Education as the striking workers resolved to suspend the two month old nationwide strike action.
Nuhu Ogirima, President of College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) disclosed this at the post National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Abuja.
He explained that the Union resolved to suspend the strike following re-assurances from government to meet some of the key demands of the Union, and the need to enable government implement the agreements.
According to him, the National Executive Council members are expected to reconvene in January 2019 to review government’s commitment, just as he threatened that the Union will not hesitate to stay away from work again if Federal Government reneges in the agreement.
While giving insight into the negotiation, Ogirima explained that government accepted decay of colleges of education and has agreed to implement the ‘NEEDS’ assessment report, as well as release a White Paper tagged: Dual Mode’ to implement partially for some Colleges to award degrees.
He added that Federal Government through the Minister of Education has met with State Governors over poor and non-payment of salaries in State owned Colleges of Education as well as ensure the reinstatement of sacked members of the Ogun State Colleges of Education.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja
, Minimum Wage
, national assembly