Minimum Wage: NGF ‘commits’ to December 31 deadline

The Nigeria Governors Forum, (NGF) says state governors “have been engaging with the respective branches of the Nigerian Labour Congress” to meet up with the December 31 minimum wage implementation deadline.

Aminu Tambuwal, the vice-chairman of the Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, said this on Wednesday while addressing journalists after a meeting with the 36 state governors, at the NGF secretariat in Abuja.

The federal government and labour on October 18 announced an agreement on the implementation of the new wage.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its meeting in October presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo approved the agreement and set dates for the take-off of the new wage and payment of the arrears.

FEC also directed that the payment of the new salary structure should take effect from April 18 and the arrears cleared by December 31.

NGF’s position

Mr Tambuwal, who represented NGF chairman, Kayode Fayemi, noted that the state governors were committed to the welfare and wellbeing of their workforce.

”Various state governments have been engaging with their branches of Nigerian Labour Congress. I am sure it is work in progress, before December all the states must have finished working out the details on the issue of minimum wage across the federation.

”We are very much committed to the welfare and wellbeing of our workforce and therefore we shall continue to ensure we do our best on what needs to be done,” he said.

PREMIUM TIMES reported the NGF in October saying the agreement between the federal government and organised labour on consequential adjustments on the new minimum wage is not binding on state governments.

The agreement over consequential adjustments averted a strike that labour had threatened to call had the government further delayed the take-off of the new minimum wage.

Long road

President Buhari signed the new minimum wage bill into law on April 18. But its implementation was stalled over salary adjustments and 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.

The federal government then argued that the minimum wage was for junior-level workers (levels 1 to 7) and that salary increase for other categories of workers would have to be negotiated.

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 resolved between both parties on October 18, following which FEC approved the implementation.

The labour minister, Chris Ngige, later announced details of the agreement to journalists.

Speaking on behalf of the union, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, had said both parties participated in the process and made input.

”We want our workers to be committed and increase productivity. The guideline will be transmitted to all state councils and they will work in harmony as well as TUC and NLC will work together,” he said.

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