The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has advised the Federal Government and Labour to utilise the instrument of social dialogue to reach agreeable terms in negotiating a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.
Mr Dennis Zulu, ILO Country Director for Nigeria, gave the advice in Abuja.
The ILO convention stipulates that the review of the minimum wage should be after every four years.
“Discussion on the minimum wage for instance, this social dialogue mechanism can be used to achieve an optimum solution and optimum win-win results agreeable to all the parties or the tripartite partners in Nigeria.
“Social dialogue is a critical component to maintaining industrial harmony in the workplace and therefore we want to encourage that the three parties, the private sector, worker organisations and government.
“Always use this mechanism as a way of reaching agreements on this contentious issue and have the necessary information to put in place an appropriate argument to back their demands,’’ he said.
Zulu said that Nigeria already has a social dialogue mechanism within which all the three parties meet and should not relent in using such platform.
He added that ILO would want to see more of these meetings especially as a way of finding solutions to agreements on a number of issues that arises in workplaces.
“Basically, each of the three partners has equal right to all discussion around the work place through the mechanism called the social dialogue.
“We encourage the three partners to engage in discussions, consultations on all issues that will affect the welfare of workers in the workplace.
“Because we believed that it is only through reaching consensus through social dialogue that we can get the industrial harmony that is needed for the workplace to be functional,’’ he said.
It will recall that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had submitted a proposal to the government demanding for a N56, 000 minimum wage.
NLC had urged the government to put in place mechanism for the implementation of the new minimum wage on or before May 1, 2017.