Nigerian workers will soon reap the benefits of their struggle for the implementation of the new National Minimum Wage of N30,000 monthly as the federal government yesterday approved that salary adjustment on the new pay would take effect from April 18, 2019, the day President Muhammadu Buhari signed it into law.
With the arrangement, the workers will enjoy the payment of the arrears of the new wage.
The minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja
According to him, the council also approved that the financial implication be worked out and the payment be completed on or before December 2019.
The minister hinted that council further directed that the National Income and Wages Commission and the Ministry of Labour and Employment should send the consequential adjustment table down to the states and local governments.
He said: “Today, we sent to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) our report and the conciliation that was done last week between the organised labour and the federal government of Nigeria on the issue of the new national minimum wage which has been fixed at N30,000 a month and the consequential adjustment that were meant for salary and wage structures of the public service thereto.
“You will remember that last week when I briefed the press, I told you that the salaries and wage structure are divided into four classes: Health, armed forces service, research institutes, and the paramilitary.
“So, they have percentage increase in their wage structure and for emphasis the 07 compartment received 23.2 per cent rise, grade level 08, 20 per cent, grade level 9, 19 per cent, grade level 10-14, 16 per cent and grade level 15 and 17, 14 per cent in the CONPPS, which is the pure civil service structure and agencies earning the same wages as those in the public service.
“You have the CONRESS and CONTISS which is compartmental 2; they have 23.2 per cent equivalent and 14-16, 10.5 per cent. The police and other security agencies because they have had a pay rise last year, were consequentially adjusted to between four and seven per cent. Same goes for the paramilitary they also have their consequential pay rise.
“So, FEC today approved for us that the financial implications be worked out by the National Incomes and Wages Commission that the salary adjustment should take effect from April 18, 2019, the day the new National Minimum Wage Act came into being.
“The council also approved for us that the financial implication should be worked out and the payment should be completed on or before December 2019. Council further directed that the minister of finance, budget and national planning through the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation should effect all these payments before 31st December, 2019.
During his briefing, the minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said that council approved N1.7 billion for the procurement and installation of communication equipment for control towers in Zaria and Katsina.
According to him “the total contract sum is N1.714billion including Value Added Tax (VAT) with a completion period of eight months.
“This is to address critical safety issues in such a way that there will be better communication and efficiency in the control towers in Zaria and Katsina and this is ongoing and similar to what we have done in other airports. This is to make air transportation more efficient, save time and money.”
Also, the minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said that his ministry presented a memo to the council for the utilization of methanol in the economy.
According to him, once it is approved and implemented, “it will help us to create new businesses particularly micro businesses that have the potential to grow into bigger ones. It will help in the creation of jobs and wealth. It will be one of the things that will help us in the fight against poverty,”
Labour Welcomes Decision On New Wage
In reaction to the wage payment move by the federal government, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said that once it is certain that arrears from the consequential adjustments on that minimum wage would be paid; it had no problem with the December timing proposed by FEC.
NLC general secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, said that labour would consult with its economic team to determine its next line of action if the arrears would not be paid in December
He said: “Once the arrears are covered, we will then talk with our colleagues that are in-house to confirm the reasonableness of the timing. Because workers prepare the wage bill, if they tell us it’s an unreasonable length of time, we will react to that. If they tell us it is reasonable within the circumstances, of course, we can live with it. Our response will be determined by what we get from our inside sources. What is really at it for us is the certainty that the arrears will be paid.”