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Minimum Wage: FG blames labour for delay in implementation

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The Federal Government has attributed the delay in the implementation of the “Consequential Adjustment” of the N30, 000 new minimum wage to the unrealistic demands of labour unions.

The Chairman, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Chief Richard Egbule made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday.

Egbule explained that the current demand of the labour unions would raise the total wage bill too high and that was why the government could not accept their proposed salary adjustments.

“Labour is asking for consequential adjustment and government in its wisdom had made budgetary provision for an adjustment of N10, 000 across the board for those already earning above N30, 000 per month.

“However, the Unions have refused this offer, saying that because the increase in the minimum wage from 18,000 to N30, 000 was 66 per cent, therefore they want 66 per cent increment across the board.

“We told them that the minimum wage was not raised from N18, 000 to N30, 000 through percentage increase but as a result of consideration of economic factors including ability to pay.

“However, we said that if they want consequential adjustments in percentage terms, we will use a percentage that when applied will not exceed what has been provided for in the budget.

“The computation based on a percentage which the government had given to labour, was 9.5 per cent from level 7 to 14 including level 1-6 of those salary structures that did not benefit from the minimum wage.

“And then five per cent from level 15 to 17. Labour countered the offer and proposed a 30 per cent increase for level 7 to 14 and 25 per cent for level 15 to 17.

“One point we keep repeating is, it will be unfair that because you gave the person earning minimum wage N12, 000, you give a level 17 officer almost N100, 000 if you apply 25 per cent,’’ he said.

Egbule said that at the last meeting between the Federal Government and the labour unions, the government proposed a 10 per cent increment for level seven to 14 and a 5.5 per cent increase for level 15 to 17.

He advised labour to come to a compromise because government had so far been magnanimous in agreeing to increase salaries without any threat of downsizing.

“Labour is currently stretching out and eating up the time that people could have used in benefiting from the adjustment because the new minimum wage was implemented since April.

“My advice is for labour to accept the terms for now and prepare to fight for the harmonization of salaries that is coming up. Harmonization of salaries will take care of this issue.

“The committee has already been formed and awaiting inauguration. I want them (labour) to know this and liberate us from this unnecessary log jam,” he said.

(NAN)

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Support our journalism with a contribution of any size

Nigeria's media space is swamped with falsehood, deceit and delusion. Just a handful abides by the truth. TheNigerian is one of the unique platforms helping to shape the global narrative about Nigeria and her citizens across the world. It's quite costly to maintain this brand of journalism, however.

Readers from around the world, like you, make TheNigerian's work possible. We need your support to deliver quality, investigative journalism – and to keep it open for everyone. At a time when factual, honest reporting is critical, your support is essential in protecting our editorial independence. Every contribution, however big or small, is so valuable for our future.

Our brand of professional citizens' journalism requires a contribution from members of the public, patronage and sponsorship to thrive. We rely on this financial support to be able to carry out our numerous obligations of training, running cost, production, printing and general services. We also embark on Corporate Social Responsibilities through educational programs on our TV, newspaper and blogs.

Make a token donation to support us:
Account Name: Patriot and Sage Digital Communication Ltd
Account No: 1015619537
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