Blame Organized Labour for delayed implementation of minimum wage – FG

By Shola Abayomi.

The Federal Government has called on Organized Labour to come to a compromise, instead of stretching out and eating up the time meant for implementation of the consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage.

The Federal Government, through the Chairman, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Richard Egbule, blamed the continued delay on Labour’s unrealistic demands which would raise the total wage bill too high and far beyond what the government is able to pay.

Egbule, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja today, stated that the Federal Government had offered an adjustment of N10, 000 across board for those already earning above N30, 000 per month but was turned down by labour who are insisting on a 66 per cent increment.

“Labour is asking for consequential adjustment and government in its wisdom had made budgetary provision for an adjustment of N10, 000 across board for those already earning above N30, 000 per month.

“However, the Unions have refused this offer, saying that because the increase in minimum wage from 18,000 to N30, 000 was 66 per cent, therefore they want 66 percent increment across board.

“We told them that the minimum wage was not raised from N18, 000 to N30, 000 through percentage increase but as a result of consideration of economic factors including ability to pay.

“However, we said that if they want consequential adjustments in percentage terms, we will use a percentage that when applied will not exceed what has been provided for in the budget.

“The computation based on percentage which government had given to labour, was 9.5 per cent from level 7 to 14 including level 1-6 of those salary structures that did not benefit from the minimum wage.

“And then five percent from level 15 to 17. Labour countered the offer and proposed 30 per cent increase for level 7 to 14 and 25 per cent for level 15 to 17.

“One point we keep repeating is, it will be unfair that because you gave the person earning minimum wage N12, 000, you give a level 17 officer almost N100, 000 if you apply 25 percent,’’ he said.

The NSIWC chairman urged labour unions to accept the terms offered by the Federal Government, rather than prevent workers from benefitting from the adjustment, four months after the new minimum wage was signed into law.

“Labour is currently stretching out and eating up the time that people could have used in benefiting from the adjustment because the new minimum wage was implemented since April.

“My advice is for labour to accept the terms for now and prepare to fight for the harmonization of salaries that is coming up. Harmonization of salaries will take care of this issue.

“The committee has already been formed and awaiting inauguration. I want them (labour) to know this and liberate us from this unnecessary log jam,” Egbule stated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *