Buhari to wade into Minimum Wage impasse

Posted by Tony Akowe, Abuja | 24 August 2019 | 4,027 times

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•President Buhari

Nigerian workers would have to wait for the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari before enjoying the new national Minimum Wage signed into law on April 18, 2019.

Negotiation between the Federal Government and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, which resumed on Friday, once again ended in a deadlock as both parties failed to arrive at a decision.

The meeting, which held at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, had Permanent Secretaries of Ministries of Finance, Labour and Employment, General Office of the SGF, and Representative of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

Our correspondent was informed that the government team resolved to take the position of both parties in the negotiation to the President and report back on September 4th for continuation of the meeting.

A source close to the meeting resolved to adjourn the meeting to September 4 and allow President Buhari weigh into the disagreement of relativity and consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage.

The source said both parties are still insisting on their position, stressing that nothing has changed from the earlier position of Labour as well as the government team.

“We are demanding 30 percent for grade levels 07 to 14 and 25 percent adjustment for grade levels 15 to 17.

“We came down to 29 and 24 respectively. But they have not even moved from their earlier position of 9.5 and 5 percent respectively.

“We are saying they should make a substantial movement in their offer but they have refused to do that and that has not gone down well with us.

“If they make a substantial movement, we will go back to our principals who are the workers. But they have not.

“So, we have asked them to report back to their principals; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the President so that the President can intervene and for us to put this thing behind us once and for all.

“So, we have agreed to meet again on the 4th of September so that we can resolve. We want them to shift ground because they have not even moved from 5 percent to 5.5 if we see reasonable movement, we will go back to the workers and get further mandate.’’

A member of the Labour group in the negotiating council, Lawrence Amaechi, confirmed that both parties have agreed to consider their stances and allow Buhari to decide on the issue.

He said: “Both parties have agreed on their different positions on the relativity/consequential adjustment of salaries and it will be submitted to Mr President, let him weigh into it.

“We have however adjourned till September 4, to get the outcome from submission to the President.”

Amaechi, who is the National President, Nigerian Civil Service Union, said the payment of the new minimum wage was long overdue, adding that government must be proactive in order not to accumulate arrears which may create another round of agitations by employees. (The Nation)

 


Source: News Express

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