The President Muhammadu Buhari administration is set to reconstitute a new committee to begin fresh negotiations for the full implementation of the new national minimum wage of N30,000.
Concise News reports that Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said this on Thursday in Abuja, the country’s capital.
The minister was speaking when the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) paid him a courtesy visit at his office.
“The President has put in place a new committee or council called ‘Presidential Committee On Salaries and Allowances,” he said.
But the former governor of Anambra state warned that the delay in agreement for the full implementation of the new minimum wage may put the Federal and State governments in a difficult position to pay because of the backlog that would arise.
Ngige explained that it was important for workers earning above N30,000 and on grade level seven to 17 to be patient, giving assurance that the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage implementation was being sorted out.
“It is important that we advise them (the stakeholders), because we are not yet back on that negotiation, that if they keep on piling debts, the Federal Government might run into problem of payment,” the former lawmaker said.
“The state governments that have not been regular with payments will have problems.”
He promised to meet with President Buhari over the stalemated negotiation on the new wage, assuring the labour leaders that the central government was committed to the full implementation of the minimum wage.
Concise News gathered that the newly appointed Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), and the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, were among those in attendance.
Ngige had earlier informed that the junior public service workers employed by the Federal Government have started receiving the N30,000 minimum wage.
The Minister’s claim was corroborated by the National President of the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU) and a member of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council Lawrence Amaechi.
Ngige noted that the only issue at stake was the executive cadre of Grades level 7 to 17, which required a consequential adjustment that was still being negotiated.
“Labour knows that inconsequential adjustment and even in collective bargaining, there are cardinal principles guiding CBA and part of the principles guiding CBA is the ability of employers to pay, because there is no need for employer going to agree on something he cannot pay and tomorrow, you are back to the negotiating table. So, that is what is there,” he had said last weekend.