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New minimum wage: Ngige speaks as FG, Labour Union reschedules meeting

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The Minister of Labor and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has promised to end the disagreement about the consequent adjustment and wage relativity.

Ngige, who made the promise to Labor writers in Abuja on Wednesday, said the disagreement was responsible for the delay in the implementation of the new minimum wage, reports NAN.

Latest Nigeria News  had informed that the negotiation between the Federal Government and the Negotiating Council of the Joint National Public Service (JNPSNC) on the new minimum wage has been rescheduled for September 16.

READ ALSO: N30,000: NLC hits Buhari govt over failure to implement new minimum wage

While the Federal Government proposed a salary increase of 9.5 percent for employees at grade levels 07 to 14 and five percent for those at grade levels 15 to 17, labor demands an increase of 30 percent for officers at grade levels 07 to 14 and 25 percent increase for grade levels 15 to 17.

But, speaking on Wednesday, Ngige said the decision to end the disagreement was to avoid the burden that would be the accumulation of arrears, the new minimum wage, for state governments.

“If you remember, a committee was created and I was a member. When we left, the Permanent Secretary took our place and was negotiating with the Joint Negotiating Council on the subsequent adjustment.

“The states are waiting for that, and it is not appropriate that we do not accelerate that negotiation so that even the states do not have to pay too much when the subsequent adjustment is concluded.

“We have budgeted it on our own in the 2019 budget and we will also budget it in the 2020 budget. We are worried about the states because some of the states are not proactive like us.

“Then, the sooner we conclude at the federal level, and the Joint Negotiating Councils in the states take it out of there and negotiate with the states, better for everyone,” he said.

READ ALSO: Sumonu Urges FG, States To Commence Implementation By May 1

Ngige added that another negotiation was important in order to determine the number of states that could pay for the delay.

He said it was the determination of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to accelerate the negotiation on the subsequent adjustment.

The minister said he had received a correspondence from the Chief of Staff to the President notifying him of a deadline for negotiation, adding that the details will soon be made public.

He also revealed that the federal government would constitute a Presidential Committee on Salaries and subsidies that would receive an application after the consequent adjustment and guarantee wage uniformity.

“Before that, that same committee will evaluate the level of workload and evaluate all the work tables and will obtain salaries and allowances proportional to each one.

“It’s one of the things that the government has decided, and I just saw the correspondence. When the details are known, we will let you know, “he said.