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Labour seeks immediate implementation of minimum wage

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[FILES] Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) president, Dr. Ayuba Wabba

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has demanded the immediate implementation of the new national minimum wage by all tiers of government.

In a communiqué signed the president, Dr. Ayuba Wabba, and the immediate past general secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting yesterday in Kano, organised labour insisted that action on the policy should be effective from the day President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the law.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new minimum wage bill, which was signed into law by the president in April this year, had been stalled over the issue of relativity and consequential adjustment of salaries in deliberations between government and labour.

They said: “NEC noted with dismay the continued delay by the Federal Government and other tiers of government to implement the new national minimum wage of N30,000 as recently enacted.

“The NEC emphatically posited that the government can no longer hide under protracted negotiations with workers in the public sector for consequential salary adjustment based on the new national minimum wage to delay its implementation.

“After very a vigorous deliberation on the need to immediately implement the national minimum wage, the NEC insists that the payment of the new national minimum wage should commence immediately.’’

However, the Kaduna State Executive Council yesterday resolved to begin payment of the new wage from next month.

The council, according to a statement by Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, deliberated on the minimum wage memo and unanimously approved action on the minimum wage and consequential adjustments for workers from September 1.

Chaired by Deputy Governor Hadiza Balarabe, the executive council said the decision was in consonance with the Governor Nasir El-Rufai administration to strengthen the public service and its capacity for better delivery.

The media aide said: “The Executive Council stated that its commitment to the public service includes a desire to improve the standard of living of workers in the state.

“Pursuant to that, the Kaduna State Government launched a pay review process early in 2018. A cabinet committee was charged with exploring how government can sustainably improve public sector salaries.

“Guided by the twin principles of ability to pay and sustainability, the government considered several scenarios, bearing in mind the trend of internally generated revenues and allocations from the federation account.

“Several salary scenarios were considered, and one option was identified as the most prudent. A final decision was suspended, as negotiations for a new national minimum wage appeared to gather momentum. It was reactivated after the Federal Government announced the new national minimum wage in April 2019.”


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