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Disagreement May Stall Commencement Of 30,000 Minimum Wage

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Workers expecting to start enjoying the new N30,000 minimum wage, may have to wait longer as the committee set up by the federal government to negotiate a new template in the adjustment in salaries of civil servants earning above the new wage is yet to reach an agreement.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on April 18th signed the new minimum wage into law and employers were expected to commence immediate payment of the new wage.

The federal government however on May 14 inaugurated a committee chaired by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita to negotiate the consequential adjustment in salaries arising from the new national minimum wage.

While inaugurating the committee, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who is an alternate chairman of the committee, said the committee had four weeks to complete its assignment with the inaugural meeting scheduled to hold on May 20, 2019.

With the four weeks already elapsed, the committee is yet to come out with its report, LEADERSHIP Friday gathered.

It was gathered that disagreement between members of the commitee  has stalled the process of their report.

While the federal government wants a fixed  amount across board, Labour is canvassing for a percentage increase for workers from level 1 step 2, to level 17 step 11.

President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Kaigama Bobboi disclosed this while speaking with journalists at the ongoing International Labour Conference (ILC) going on the Geneva, Switzerland.

He said, “We are concerned in the sense that it is one thing to sign the law of minimum wage. But one thing we should all take note is that as soon as we finished this last leg, the effective date of the nnational minimum wage is the day the President signed it into law and be rest assured that all employers of Labour will pay arrears.

“What we want to work now is that Mr President gave us 4 weeks to sort out this thing. But along the way after setting up a technical committee, we discovered that there are some hitches, so we decided to go back and prepare some scenarios, look at it and agree on one template that will cut across level 1 step 2, to level 17 step 11.

“Government is of the opinion that we fix an amount across. But to us, it doesn’t make sense. it’s not scientific. We are advocating for parcentage increment. Take a percentage. Even if you are going to stagger, do the staggering but you must use a percentage across board. Those are the hitches we have now.”

Meanwhile, Kaigama also called on African leaders to consider a uniformed minimum wage for workers across the continent.

Kaigama said the proposal followed an earlier call by French President, Emmanuel Macron who urged the European Union heads of government to consider a unified minimum wage of EU workers.

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