President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly directed Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, to hasten negotiations with the organised labour on the new N30,000 minimum wage.
Buhari made this call through Tukur Ngawa, chairman of the federal civil service commission. It happened at the 2019 Nigeria civil service week celebration dinner and award night. The event held at the State House conference centre, Abuja.
According to the president, there is an urgent need to conclude the negotiations; to allow for full implementation of the new minimum wage act recently signed into law.
In an address read by Ngawa, President Buhari asked Ngige to quickly conclude negotiations with the Nigeria Labour Congress on the issue.
“I wish to direct the honourable minister of labour and employment to expedite action on the consequential adjustment negotiation of the minimum wage.
“We have also approved the constitution of the presidential committee on salaries and allowances for the civil servants.” He said this while stating that his administration is poised to ensure good welfare packages for all civil servants.
1st News earlier reported that hopes of any full approval of the N30,000 minimum wage could be slim. The Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) intimated of plans by the federal government to begin fresh negotiations.
The general secretary of JNPSNC, Alade Lawal, said in Abuja that there was no timeline for the minimum wage to be implemented.
Lawal said: “It is still as it was. On the part of labour, we are talking to our people; we are briefing them. You can call it mobilisation if you like.
“With the way they are working behind the scene, we may be back to the negotiation table in a couple of days.
“This is not something that somebody can put a timeline to. It is negotiation; and when you negotiate, you have a fair deal from your side that you believe should be the ruling wage. They also have their positions, based on the numbers in the books.
“So when you have two sides of a coin and you are meeting, you can’t put a timeline.
“But I want to believe that if you follow the trends of discussions; follow the trends of development; follow the trend of sincerity on the part of the government; you will agree with me that we are moving very close to either arriving at something or let us see how it goes.”