- The federal government has blamed the delay in implementing the new minimum wage on labour unions
- The government said that the demand of the labour bodies will make the total wage bill too high
- According to Richard Egbule, the chairman of wages commission, the government could not work with the demanded 66% increment across board
The federal government has attributed delay in the implementation of the “consequential adjustment” of the N30,000 new minimum wage to the unrealistic demands of labour unions.
The chairman of National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Richard Egbule, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday, August 12.
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%, therefore they want 66% 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," he said.
He further explained how the delay came about, giving clearer details on the conflicts in the percentage adjustment.
“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% 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% 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 said that at the last meeting between the Federal Government and the labour unions, the government proposed a 10% increment for level seven to 14 and a 5.5% increase for level 15 to 17.
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 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,” he said.
PAY ATTENTION: Download our mobile app to enjoy the latest news update
Egbule reiterated the commission’s commitment to giving sound advice to the government on the portion of national income that should be devoted to the payment of salaries and wages.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the Trade Union Congress on Sunday, July 14, said it no longer trusts federal government's commitment to the agreed implementation of the new N30,000 minimum wage.
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) -> Legit.ng We have upgraded to serve you better
Minimum Wage: Is N30,000 too much for FG to pay workers? - on Legit TV