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Minimum wage: Federal Government, labour to meet Sept.16

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THE negotiation between the Federal government and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) on the new minimum wage has been rescheduled to hold on September 16.

The JNPSN Secretary-General,  Alade Lawal, asserted to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that the meeting was rescheduled at the instance of the officials.

The last negotiation between the government and the JNPSNC was to hold on September 4, but was suspended.

The organised labour and the Federal Government have been in conflict over the implementation of the new minimum wage which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on April 18.

Negotiation between the government and the JNPSNC, representing labour in the technical committee set up to negotiate the consequential adjustment of workers’ salaries as a result of the new minimum wage, had broken down due to unresolved differences in their proposals.

While the Federal Government proposed 9.5 per cent salary increase for employees on grade levels 07 to 14 and five per cent for those on grade levels 15 to 17, labour is demanding 30 per cent increase for officers on grade levels 07 to 14 and 25 per cent increase for grade levels 15 to 17.

The government through the Chairman, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Richard Egbule, approved the immediate implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage, but the implementation is yet to commence.

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While the Federal Government alleged that the Labour Union is to blame for the delay of the new minimum wage, the NLC insists government’s proposal is insignificant.

President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, had told journalists that the Congress would support any position taken by the JNPSN on the new national minimum wage.

Despite not implementing the new minimum wage, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige says the welfare of the Nigerian workers is cardinal to president Buhari’s.

Ngige in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by the Deputy Director/Head Press and Public Relations, Charles Akpane, said the Federal Government has continued demonstrate to the upliftment of the nation’s workforce.

“ The welfare of workers is a cardinal objective of the current administration because the President clearly understands the key role workers play in national development,” Ngige was quoted as said in an address at the Long Service/Merit Award Ceremony of the Nigerian Ports Authority held over the weekend in Lagos. .

“This is manifest in the various measures the Federal Government has taken since 2015 to reposition the workforce.

“ We can easily flashback to a number of bailout funds he gave to states to pay salaries of workers as well as the unprecedented payment of decades-long arrears of salaries and allowances to the workers in the federal civil service. Let’s not forget that the President also wasted no time in giving his assent to the new National Minimum Wage.”

 

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