Minimum wage: FG set deadline for conclusion of negotiation, to set up presidential c’ttee on salaries, wages

The federal government Wednesday ordered immediate conclusion of negotiation on the consequential adjustment between the government and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) to pave way for the implementation of the new wage.

The government also directed the setting up of a Presidential Committee on Salaries and Wages, which will be saddled with the responsibility of receiving complains and reviewing salaries and work schedule as well as assigning appropriate salaries to different categories of workers.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who stated this at a meeting with the leadership and members of the Labour Correspondents Association of (LACAN) in his office, said President Buhari has directed that a time limit be set for the conclusion of negotiation between government and workers.

The negotiation between workers and government on the consequential adjustment have suffered a setback due to both sides disagreeing on the figures presented.

The last meeting which held on 4th September 2019 was rescheduled for 16th September, 2019 for the government team to present both positions to the president for input.

 “Part of it is the new minimum wage which the president signed in April. It is a pity that after signing it, may came and a lot of us were sent on compulsory leave. We are now coming back from leave. If you remember, a committee was set up and I was a member.

“When we left, the permanent secretary took our place and was negotiating with the Joint Negotiating Council (NJC) on the consequential adjustment. The states are waiting for that and it is not proper for us not to fast- track that negotiation so that even the states will not have too much backlog to pay when the consequential adjustment is concluded.

“We have our own budgeted for in the 2019 budget and we are going to also budget for it in the 2020 budget. We are concerned about the states because some of the states are not proactive like us.

“So, the sooner we conclude at the federal level and the Joint Negotiating Councils in the states takes it from there and negotiate with the states, the better for everybody. If we spill this into next year, I am not sure how many states will be able to pay the backlog which will lead us to another round of negotiation.

“It is the determination of the president and this administration to fast track the negotiation on consequential adjustment. I have just received a correspondence from the Chief of Staff to the President and we are putting a deadline to that negotiation.”

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