Prof. Stephen Ocheni, a ministerial nominee has used an opportunity to meet with the Nigerian Senate to encourage the Federal Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to resume talks on a new minimum wage for workers. This was during his ministerial nominee screening with the law makers.
Acknowledging NLC’s call for a wage review, Ocheni noted that it was important for them and government to negotiate on a tenable wage. He said
“They should go to the roundtable and discuss the possibility of implementing the minimum wage. This discussion will be anchored on the budget of the federation.
“If your children are demanding for N100 and you have N10 in your pocket, not until you declare your asset, they will not believe what you are saying.
“By the time Labour and Federal Government go to a round table, the government will be able to explain the implication of what Labour is asking for, considering the huge workforce across the country.
“The Federal Government can also make a case on the need to reduce allocation to recurrent expenditure as personnel cost is a major component of recurrent expenditure…
“The economic growth plan emphasises the need to reduce recurrent expenditure and increase allocation to capital budget.
“This will lead to improvement in the overall development of the economy and reduce poverty. Let us also not forget that from the execution of capital budget, employment will be generated thereby reducing poverty.
“This is because the public sector cannot continue to absorb graduates as was done in the past,’’ he said.