These are the new things Chris Ngige said about minimum wage and ongoing ASUU strike

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Rizqoh Murtadho

Nigeria’s Minister for labour and employment, Dr Chris Ngige, disclosed that the Federal government is ready to pay the agreed minimum wage and also exploring all means to end the ongoing ASUU strike.

The minister disclosed this on Sunday, January 6, during a conversation with reporters at the premises of a local radio station in  Awka, Anambra State. He also pleaded with ASUU to show mercy on students by calling off the ongoing strike.

Ngige declared that the Federal Government would pay a minimum wage, adding that things were being worked out by the Committee saddled with that responsibility.

The Federal Government and Labour representatives adjourned their meeting till today after a five-hour deliberation last Friday. At the end of the meeting, the minister said substantial progress was made and all that is left is a final resolution. 

“FG will comfortably pay minimum wage, we want to pay it, but there must be balancing because figures were bandied and we are asking Labour to exercise patience,” he said.

“I appeal to ASUU and Labour to have mercy on students and be patient. As far as I’m concerned, we have treated Labour well. And they should also know I’m a comrade and that is why I always intervened on matters that concern them.”

The minister reiterated that the problems of ASUU were not caused by President Muhammadu Buhari, but were bequeathed to the present administration by the previous governments based on agreements reached in 2009.

Lecturers, under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), began a nationwide strike since November 2 2017, over unfulfilled request of the union by the Nigerian government.

Chris, who narrated how he became Anambra governor in 2003, said some of the things being faced in governance today were same problems that he confronted, yet, he paid salaries and piled pensions without borrowing.

Ngige said: “What Buhari is doing now is what I did in office as governor in Anambra, which was mainly my offence that brought the problems. So, Buhari is not the architect of salary issue in Nigeria.”

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