Reasons For Delay In Minimum Wage Implementation : FG

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Reason For Delay In Minimum Wage Implementation

The delay in implementing the “Compelling Improvement” of the N30,000 new minimum wage has been attributed by the Federal Government to the unreasonable demands of labor unions.

The Chairman, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Chief Richard Egbule, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.

Egbule explained that the current demand of the labour unions would raise the total wage bill too high and that was why government could not accept their proposed salary adjustments.

“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.

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“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.

Egbule added that at the last meeting between the Federal Government and the labour unions, the government proposed a 10 per cent increment for level seven to 14 and a 5.5 per cent increase for level 15 to 17.

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He advised labour to come to a compromise because government had so far been magnanimous in agreeing to increase salaries without any threat of downsizing.

“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 to work for the time being to accept the terms and prepare to fight for the coming harmonization of wages. This problem will be addressed by the harmonization of wages.

“The committee was already set up and awaiting its inauguration. want them to know this (labour) and free us from this unnecessary leadership vacuum,” he said.

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