The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has explained the process of the government’s implementation of the new N30,000 minimum wage.
He confirmed that while the new minimum wage has been implemented from Salaries Grade Level 1 to 7, that of levels 7- 17 are being considered as negotiations are ongoing.
According to him, it is a consequential adjustment because once those at the lowest rungs of the ladder begin to earn N30,000, their salaries will impinge into the Level 6/7.
Consequently, there has to be a process of “collective bargaining”.
According to him, “it’s not a general wage review”.
The minister further explained that the government in anticipation of a general wage review has put in place a presidential committee on salaries on wages for which the Minister of Finance is the chairman, assisted by himself (Ngige) and other ministers.
“We are putting a report to the government on a general wage review because there are some agencies of government that the salaries of people on the same level with those in pure civil service, when compared, the man in that agency is earning times three, 300 per cent of what the person is earning”.
About a week ago, organised labour, had issued a strike notice to the Federal Government, asking the Minister of Labour to re-convene the negotiating meeting and finalise on the issues of consequential salaries adjustment for workers who are in salaries grade level seven and above.
The unions are demanding for 29 per cent salary increase for officers on grade seven to 14, and 24 per cent for grade 15 to 17, but the government is proposing 11 per cent for officers on grade level 7 to 14, and 6.5 per cent for officers on grade level 15 to 17.
They are expected to meet on Tuesday with heads of government agencies and parastatals, to try to reach an agreement on what amount can actually be paid to workers.