The Chairman, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Chief Richard Egbule, has disclosed President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of immediate implementation of the N30,000 new national minimum wage for Federal Public Service workers currently earning below the minimum wage.
While making this disclosure at a news conference on the implementation of the new national minimum wage, Egbule said the commencement of the approved payment would be determined by the office of the Accountant-General and backdated to when the President signed the agreement.
Effect: While the approval, according to Egbule, would be backdated to Wednesday, April 18, 2018, the new salary structure will only affect the salary of government agencies under five salary structures.
The salary structures include the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure (CONPSS), Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS), Consolidated Research and Allied Institutions Salary Structure (CONRAISS), Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure (CONTISS II), and the Consolidated Tertiary Educational Institutions Salary Structure (CONTEDISS).
What this means: In view of the new development, civil servants who are currently earning below the agreed N30,000, are the only ones eligible to be beneficiaries of the immediate implementation of the new minimum wage.
Meanwhile, Labour Unions are mulling plans to embark on industrial action should the Federal Government delay further the implementation of the new minimum wage.
The Delay: President Buhari had, on 18 April 2019, signed into law, the Minimum Wage Repeal and Enactment Act 2019, which increased the minimum wage for Nigerian workers to N30,000 from N18,000. According to the SSA to the President on National Assembly matters, the effective date of the new bill was Wednesday, April 18, 2019.
Controversy: Controversies have since been trailing the new minimum wage struggle by the Nigerian workers.
Representatives of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council on the technical committee set up to negotiate consequential adjustments arising from the new minimum wage, had disagreed with the government’s proposal of 9.5% salary increase for employees on Grade Levels 07 to 14 and 5% for those on Grade Levels 15 to 17.
The council is advocating for a 30% salary increment for officers on Grade Levels 7 to 14 and 25% increment for Grade Levels 15 to 17.