The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has clarified that the position of organised labour on implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage is targeted at the informal sector and most Small and medium-sized enterprises in the country.
NECA, the umbrella organization of employers in the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria stated that there is a collective bargaining structure adopted by the association.
The Director-General of NECA, Mr. Timothy Olawale who hosted the executives of the Labour Writers Association of Nigeria (LAWAN) stated that the organised labour is not targeting employers who pay above the N30, 000 minimum wage.
“We are aware of the position of organised labour and it is not generic, it is more of an application to all businesses in the private sector.
“There are two sides that are most likely be affected; you know the situation with the private sector that majority in the ‘organised’ private sector are paying way above N30,000 as minimum wage, those ones are not affected, except they exercise their prerogative to do something outside that.
“I think what we should focus on are those few that are far and in between and are likely not paying up to N30, 000; most of them are SMEs, that’s the first aspect of it, then the second aspect are those in the informal sector, which was one of the reasons that necessitated the exclusion in the law.”
He said that NECA is aware of the struggles and challenges facing these sets of people, but have decided to encourage them irrespective of whether they are members of the association or not.
“The best we can do is to encourage them within the scope of their difficulties and challenges to obey the law. So these are the two categories labour is referring to; those in the informal sector and the very few in the organised private sector that is paying below.
“Even though the majority of them are not members of NECA, our message is that the law is the law and we believe in best practices and they should all work towards implementation.
“The very few remaining are not the type that labour will want to picket or shut down, some of them are briefcase office managers. But we will continue to lobby them to do what is right.”
Adding, Mr Olawale stated that some sectors have scheduled a review of salary for minimum wage while some have started implementing before the start off date.
“You also know the collective bargaining structure in the private sector where we don’t wait for minimum wage before we review salary; every two years, we go to negotiating table to review salaries and benefits and of course, some sectors are reviewing their salaries, negotiations have just closed in some sectors, and some have theirs already scheduled.