Why minimum wage implementation may be delayed in Enugu – NLC

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

The Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Enugu State, Virginus Nwobodo, says the implementation of the new minimum wage in the state may take a little longer.

Mr Nwobodo disclosed this on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu.

The labour leader said the delay might be caused by the non-existence of a wage template in the state as the old N18,000 minimum wage was not well implemented by the state government.

He, therefore, appealed to workers in the state civil service to be patient, as labour would not rush into the issue as was happening in other states where some figures were already being bandied.

“We have a peculiar situation in Enugu; there is no standard wage template for the state workers, in line with the N18,000 minimum wage, because the state government did not holistically implement it.

“What the government did then was to give financial awards according to cadres. There was no percentage increase or consequential adjustment,” he said.

Mr Nwobodo said the issue had affected the implementation of the current N30,000 minimum wage as the technical committee of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) in the state had much to do.

“The technical committee is already working. It will do a serious job to come up with a standard wage chart before we now begin to talk about consequential adjustment across grade levels.

“The moment they are through with their task, they will call on the larger JNC, which will either accept or reject what they would have done,” he said.

The chairman said the committee would work in line with the current economic realities, relying on the wage template negotiated at the federal level.

“The committee, in order to make their work easier, will assess documents from the federal level and, based on some factors, come up with a wage chart across the sectors,” Mr Nwobodo said.

NAN reports that the state government had, in December 2019, set up a committee to negotiate with labour on the implementation of the new minimum wage.

However, workers in the state civil service have been in the dark concerning the work of the committee as there are no updates on the assignment.

(NAN)


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