The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has said that the current President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has created more than 7 million jobs.
According to Punch, Ngige said this after a meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the administration had promised to create jobs when it came into power in 2015, and has fulfilled its promises.
He said agriculture and its chains alone have created more than 5 to 7 million jobs. He said:
We promised jobs when we came on board, but what has happened is that people tried to quantify jobs in terms of ‘white collar’ jobs for graduates from universities, polytechnic but they don’t want to look at the ‘blue collar’ jobs.
Agriculture and its chains alone have created more than five to seven million jobs. Talk in terms of rice; from rice tilling, harvesting, sending to the paddies, mills, and even where people are making the jut bags, transportations, people are getting jobs. So, that value chain alone from agric is enormous.
Take the N-power, we have created millions of jobs from here. Skill acquisition from the NDE and other agencies of government, jobs are being created. We give them tools as plumbers, electricians, cosmetologists, shoemakers, tilers and several other areas. We have created several jobs.
He also addressed the National Labour Congress’ (NLC) insistence on raising the minimum wage to N56,000.
Ngige said he could not say if it would be possible. He said:
I can’t say whether it is possible. The tripartite discussion will decide that. This is what we call the social dialogue group which will produce the CBA, Collective Bargaining Agreement on what should be the national minimum wage.
When we came to power in 2015, there was a minimum wage Act in situ, and by May 2016, we now had a deregulation in the petroleum industry and prices of petroleum products went up and we started discussions with the Organized Labour.
One of the agreements was that the issue will be addressed. The old law expired last year August and we are now in the process of empanelling a new national minimum wage committee.
I have cleared the appointments with the President today and as soon as the Labour people come back from the Labour Governing Board meeting in Geneva, we will take a consensus date with the governors because it is a tripartite committee involving federal and states, the private sector, NECA, MAN, NACCIMA and SMEs. These are the arms that will be involved.
NLC, TUC their affiliates have done their nominations. What we are now trying to fine tune is the date for inauguration.