Minimum Wage: FEC says arrears should be paid before December 31

The FEC meeting presided by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
The FEC meeting presided by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

The Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday, approved the payment of the new salary structure as contained in the agreement signed between the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the labour unions last week.

The council also directed that the payment of the new salary structure should take effect from April 18, 2019. The arrears should be cleared by December 31, the FEC said.

The meeting which was presided over by the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the State House, had in attendance heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies to discuss issues that border on the country’s economy and social development.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Christ Ngige, while briefing the council, said the N30,000 new minimum wage has been fixed.

He also listed government’s agencies and levels entitled to this new salary adjustment as stipulated in the signed agreement.

“Today we sent to the federal executive council our report and the conciliation that was done last week between the organised labour and one federal government of Nigeria on the issue of the new national minimum wage which has been fixed at N30,000 a month and the consequential adjustments,” said the minister.

He said as approved by the council, the payment of the new minimum wage will commence once the “financial implications” have been worked out by the labour ministry.

It was also indicated that such must be resolved before December 2019.

“So FEC today approved for us that the financial implications worked out by the National Incomes and Wages Commission that the salaries adjustment should take effect as from April 18, 2019 the day the New National Minimum Wage Act came into being. Council also approved for us that the financial implication be worked out and the payment should be completed on or before December 2019.

“Council further directed that the minister of finance, budget and national planning through the office of the Accountant General of the Federation should effect all these payments before 31 December 2019. Council further directed also that the National Income and Wages Commission and the Ministry of Labour and Employment should send the consequential adjustment table down to the states and local government as an advisory document for their information.”

Long road
President Buhari signed the new minimum wage bill into law in April 2019. But its implementation has been stalled over salary adjustments disagreement between the labour unions and government representatives.

Specifically, the problem centred around the issue of relativity and consequential adjustments of salaries for various categories of workers.

On May 14, the federal government inaugurated the relativity and consequential adjustment committee, which set up a technical subcommittee to work out a template for the adjustment of salaries of public service employees in line with the minimum wage law.

The controversy was recently resolved between both parties.

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