Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige, said on Tuesday 15th October 2019 that the Federal Government cannot meet the demand of Labour on the new minimum wage.

According to him the minister, the Nigerian economy will grind to a halt like that of Venezuela, if the federal government accedes to Labour’s request.

Although the Federal Government has started paying workers on Grade Levels 1 to 6, the N30,000 minimum wage, there is a disagreement with Labour unions over the percentage increment for senior workers.

Ngige said about 1.4 million workers in federal public service would take 33 per cent of government budget in 2020, if Labour’s demand is accepted.

He further explained that the government would have little funds to provide basic ammenities and build infrastructure roads if it spends 33 per cent of the 2020 budget to pay salaries and wages.

“The government cannot shut down the economy because it wants to pay workers’ wages”,  said Ngige.

However, after talks yesterday, both the government and Labour shifted grounds in their positions on the implementation of the new wage.

The negotiations and talks will continue today Wednesday October 16 in Abuja.

Also on Tuesday, the United Labour Congress (ULC) foreclosed its participation in the strike call by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).