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Government Labour meet to fast-track minimum wage implementation

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The parley between the Federal Government and organised labour in Abuja yesterday has raised a fresh hope for the implementation of the consequential adjustment component of the N30,000 national minimum wage. Approved on April 18, 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari, the execution of the new pay has been dogged by the failure of the two parties to strike a common ground on the percentage of increment for certain grade levels, especially those on GL 8 and above.

As for the category of workers on grade levels one to six, who hitherto were earning below N30, 000 monthly, there is no issue to grind.The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, yesterday met separately with members of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) as well the leaderships of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to resolve the crisis.

The meeting with labour, which commenced around 11:30a.m. and ended at 2:00p.m., was immediately followed by that of the JNPSNC.The Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Charles Akpan, said the parley resolved that every group should further consult widely prior to a conclusive high-level gathering to wrap up all discussions for the implementation of the consequential adjustments.

Consequently, another meeting is to hold next Tuesday in Abuja.Others that attended yesterday’s get-together are the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of State, Clement Agba; his Labour and Employment counterpart, Festus Keyamo; Acting Head of Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi- Esan; Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze; Acting Chairman, National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta; and the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.

The rest were NLC Deputy President, Amaechi Asugwuni; General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja; Acting Chairman of JNPSNC, Achaver Simon, as well as representatives of TUC.Indeed, labour had on Monday warned of an imminent strike action if by October 16, the Federal Government failed to reconvene a meeting of the committee on consequential adjustments.

The Secretary-General of JNPSNC, Alade Lawal, had told a meeting of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria in Abuja that workers were mobilising for an industrial action.He had also claimed that the partial implementation of the minimum wage for levels one to six was a “divide and rule” system which the movement opposes.


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