Winifred Oyo-Ita, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has disclosed the reasons behind the delay in the implementation of the new minimum wage.
According to her, the delay is based on an unrealistic percentage increase being demanded by workers’ representatives in the Joint National Public Negotiation Council (JNPNC).
The blame: The Head of the Civil Service blamed the delay on workers on the Federal Government payroll over their rejection of the percentage increment proposed by the Federal team.
She further stated that the delay might continue if the senior civil servants of the Federation continue with their request.
Before now: Before the minimum wage was signed, it was proposed to be implemented for salary earners who earn below N30,000.
Two weeks ago, the Federal Government and the JNPNC couldn’t reach an agreement because of the differences in the method to adopt for the consequential adjustment for civil servants on grade level seven and above.
The differences: The federal team in the technical committee initiated that workers on levels 07 to 14 should have 9.5% increase in their salaries and 5% for levels 15 to 17 but Labour is demanding a 30% salary increase for workers on levels 07 to 14 and 25% for workers on levels 15 to 17.
Mrs Oyo-Ita said that the government was committed to implementing the minimum wage and the Labour Union needed to readdress their demand.
“President Buhari is keen on the implementation of new minimum wage and that is why the committee set up on the consequential adjustment arising from the new minimum wage has been meeting unions within Labour Unions and public service to arrive at a consequential adjustment.
“There were a few, not very realistic demands, from the unions and so as not to continue delaying the implementation of the well-thought-out and dear policy of the President, we have to go ahead and seek his approval for the implementation while we continue the discussion on the consequential adjustment.”
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), the umbrella body for senior civil servants has refused to follow the order of the government on implementation and has insisted that it would be left with no choice than to call its members out on a national strike if the government failed to meet their demand.