FG starts deliberation on minimum wage, fuel price hike

FG starts deliberation on minimum wage, fuel price hike

The Federal Government on Thursday inaugurated the technical committee set up to look into Labour’s grievances arising from the increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

After the committee’s inauguration by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal, the committee headed by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, held its inaugural meeting.

Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Ngige said the committee has been commissioned to look into three key areas.

According to him, the committee will look into a framework of a national committee that will discuss the issue of minimum wage and consider suggestions of all parties including government and the organised labour on how they can give amelioration to workers and Nigerians in general to cushion the effect of the fuel price hike.

He added: “Government has already provided N500 billion in the 2016 budget as palliatives and this will be subjected to a review by the committee.

“Another term of reference is the recommendation of the composition of the board of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).”

The organised labour, before embarking on its recent strike, had faulted the federal government’s rational for hiking the fuel price from N86.50 to N145 per litre when the board of the PPPRA was not in place.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had also requested that the federal government should include labour stakeholders in the N500 billion palliative measures it planned to use to cushion the effect of the fuel price hike.

The union also demanded for upward review of the minimum wage to N56,000.

But President Muhammadu Buhari had subsequently approved the appointment of Mohammed Buba as the Chairman of Board of PPPRA.

At the end of the inaugural meeting of the Committee, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said he concurred with the remark of Dr. Ngige.

One of the labour leaders, who spoke on a condition of anonymity after the inauguration, said the government has to look beyond the N500 billion as the sharing formula has already been completed.

“Government should think of other palliatives,” he said.