The National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) has explained that salaries and other remunerations of government workers are based on the difficulty of the jobs and skills required for them.
Chairman, NSIWC, Chief Richard Egbule, told the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja on Monday that the commission usually carried out job assessments before coming out with a befitting pay policy for any agency.
“The pay policy must take into consideration the actual work done by people; it’s not about your training or because you went to school and you have so many degrees.
“If a job has been cut out, what are you expected to do on that job and what does the job require before you can execute it. We have to do a job evaluation to know all these things.
“When a job is properly evaluated, no matter where you work, if you do the same thing at that level, you should be remunerated equally.
“That is the concept of equal pay for the work of substantially equal value,’’ he said.
Egbule said that having a salary structure had made it possible for everybody on the same grade level, no matter the agency, to have the same basic salary.
He explained that the differences in salaries of different agencies were mostly from allowances, due to the nature of the work some agencies do.
“This is a very popular question. Some even go as far as saying that we go to the same market but why do we receive different salaries?
“My attitude to this question is simple. Pay for jobs done is not determined at the market square.
“What determines differences in salary is the work you do. The work you do is central to the issue of pay disparity.
“People who work in different sectors may have different challenges. Anybody exposed to risks or some kind of hazards will be remunerated specifically for this through some level of allowances.
“For instance, in the oil sector, if you are an engineer and you work in NNPC, the kind of competence acquired there is what other competitors of NNPC like Cheveron, Shell, etc will require.
“If NNPC does not pay like Cheveron or Shell, definitely their staff will be poached.
“Also, the work of an engineer at NNPC is different from the one who works at the civil service. Therefore, you cannot expect to be paid like the engineer in the oil prospecting sector,’’ he said.
Egbule said also that government was working on the harmonisation of salary structures, which would address some of the concerns of workers.
To this end, he revealed that President Mohammadu Buhari would soon inaugurate a committee to commence the process of harmonising salaries in the country.
The Chairman assured the public that the commission was prudent in fixing salaries for government institutions across all sectors.
He enumerated the salary structures obtainable in the Nigerian public service are as Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure (CONPSS), Consolidated Tertiary Education Institutions Salary Structure (CONTEDISS) and Consolidated Top Public Office Holders Salary Structure (CONTOPSAL).
They also include Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Academic Salary Structure (CONPCASS), Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS), Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) and Consolidated Armed Forces Salary Structure (CONAFSS).
Others are the Consolidated Police Salary Structure (CONPOSS), Consolidated Paramilitary Salary Structure (CONPASS), Consolidated Intelligence Community Salary Structure (CONICSS) and the Treasury-funded Establishments on Special Salary Structures.