N30,000 minimum wage: States strategise

N30,000 minimum wage: States return to drawing board


by Bisi Oladele, Ibadan; Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin; Nicholas Kalu, Calabar; Okodili Ndidi,Owerri; Justina Asishana, Minna; Sunny Nwankwo,Aba  
State governments across the country are taking a fresh look at their finances with a view to mapping out strategies for payment of the new N30,000 minimum wage.

They are also awaiting guidelines from the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission on how best to handle the situation.

Although some of the states, including Kano, Zamfara, Kwara, Rivers, Kogi and Edo, had expressed their readiness to pay the new minimum wage, there seems to be discordant tunes from some other states about their ability to pay.

One of such states is Oyo where the current monthly wage bill stands at N5.6 billion.

The state is allocated an average of N4.4 billion a month from the federal purse while its internally generated revenue is about N1.6 billion monthly.

Information, Culture and Tourism Commissioner, Toye Arulogun, could not tell what the wage bill would look like when details of the new minimum wage are released.

He said that could only be determined when the Federal Government gazettes the new minimum wage and guidelines are out.

The commissioner explained that the government would take the necessary step if it was confronted with inability to pay.

But he was quick to add: “We will wait to cross the bridge before deciding the appropriate line of action.”

The Kwara State Government is also awaiting the template for payment from the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.

It says the template is required by the 13-man minimum wage reviewing committee it set up to guide it on computing new salaries for workers.

Investigations revealed that the state government receives between N2.5 and N3.8 billion monthly, going by the figure usually released by the Joint Allocation Account Committee (JAAC).

The internally generated revenue of the state also stands at between N1.7 billion and N2.3 billion per month.

The Chairman of Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS), Prof Muritala

Awodun, recently said that the service generated a total sum of N6.279 billion as revenue in the first quarter of 2019.

Awodun, said that the agency generated N2.16 billion in January, N1.76 billion in February and N2.38 billion in March 2019.

The KWIRS boss, who said that the revenue agency was yet to achieve its target of N60 billion revenue per annum or N5 billion monthly, however, said that the service has been developed to a point that it would not make less than an average of N2.5 billion every month.

It was gathered that the state government currently spends over N2 billion on the payment of workers’ salaries.

A source gave the breakdown of salary payment as follows: core civil servants N600 million; primary and secondary school teachers N940 million; local government staff N500 million and pensioners N400 million.

Like Oyo and Kwara, Cross River State is also waiting for the guidelines from the federal authorities.

It currently has about 25,000 workers on its payroll and receives an average of N3 billion allocation from Abuja monthly and generates between N1.5 billion and N3.5 billion.

Apart from paying salaries and meeting financial obligations in respect of projects, the state also services the loan taken for the execution of the Tinapa complex.

This is put at almost N100 million per month.

There is also the controversial superhighway expected to gulp over N700 billion.

The governor recently  transmitted a letter to the House of Assembly to approve modalities for funding the project by the state government.

The letter, which was leaked on the Internet, sought approval for an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) for N648.8 billion in favour of a construction company.

The letter with reference number SSG/S/300/VOL.XVII/1199, addressed to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, sought the state legislature to consider and pass a resolution granting an approval for the state government to issue an ISPO of N300 million monthly through a bank in favour of the construction company.

Imo ’ll pay, says Okorocha

…as gov-elect insists on checking records first

The Chief Press Secretary to outgoing Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, told The Nation that the state government would pay the new minimum wage.

He said: “Imo State was the first state to pay the N18,000 minimum wage and it will also pay the new minimum wage of N30,000.

“The governor has always considered the welfare of workers a top priority of his administration.”

But Mr. Chibuike Onyeukwu,  the media aide to Governor-elect Emeka Ihedioha, said the records would have to be checked first to determine what could be done.

He said: “The issue of the minimum wage is a matter the governor-elect will not comment on until he is sworn in and assumes office on May 29.

“Thereafter, he will check the records on ground and make the position of the state known.”

Investigation showed that the current monthly wage bill of workers in the state is about N4 billion, pensions gulp  N1.4 billion, while internally generated revenue (IGR) is N1.4 billion per annum.

The state also gets between N3.4 billion and N5 billion as allocation from Abuja monthly.

Speaking on the state’s chances of paying the new minimum wage, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Iyke Njoku, described it as a complicated issue.

He said: “With the signing of the new minimum wage bill into law, every state is expected to pay. For it to be obtainable, the Federal Government should have made it optional rather than foisting it on the states.

“States should have been allowed to negotiate with the workers and agree on what they can pay.

“For instance, in Imo State, we have free education going on, and this is taking a lot of money and we cannot stop that to meet up with the new salary because they will bring back hardship on the people.

“And if you fail to comply with the new salary structure, labour will revolt. So it is a very complicated issue for now.”

Niger to initiate discussion with labour

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello is seeking talks with labour leaders in the state on how to proceed with payment of the new minimum wage.

He wants to find out why government’s wage bill has remained unchanged despite the large number of those who have either retired from the service or died since 2015 when he assumed office.

Bello said that while he is committed to paying the new minimum wage, “we will initiate discussions with the organised labour on how to proceed with the necessary modalities for the full implementation of the 30,000 minimum wage bill as signed into law by the President.”

He said it was ”disheartening that despite conscious efforts to turn around the fortunes of the state, the state wage bill continues to remain static, regardless of the number of the people that have retired from the service and those who died between 2015 and now.

“The civil servants need to be sincere with themselves and support government in changing the ugly trend.”

The federal allocation to Niger State in January 2019 was N4.043 billion.

Figures recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put the state’s IGR last year at N6.5 billion per annum, an average of N543 million per month.

Abia ready to pay, says commissioner

The Abia State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Obinna Oriaku, told The Nation that the state government was ready to pay the new minimum wage, saying it “will also give us the opportunity to recalibrate our wage structure to be on the same page with other states.”

Asked whether the state has the financial muscle to pay, he said: “Our IGR is not static; it fluctuates. In my time, it has gone beyond N1 billion, and at times, it has fallen below N700 million.

“It keeps fluctuating, but we have arrived at a point where I think today, we can target N2 billion as IGR in Abia and achieve it.

“Ultimately, people believe that Abia can make N5 billion as IGR, and I share that optimism. But that hasn’t happened yet.

“Minimum wage is something that we have all agreed that the amount currently being earned by workers is low, and as a state, we are going to abide with the decision, in line with other states. Whatever other states are doing, be rest assured that we are going to do it.

“But I am not also worried, because if you check the whole of Southeast today, Abia pays the highest. N30,000 minimum wage will also give us the opportunity to recalibrate our wage structure to be at the same page with other states.”

On the possibility of the wage bill being a burden on the state, the commissioner said: “There is no doubt that it is going to be a big burden on the state.

“But why I am not a bit bothered like other states is because Abia has been paying well above the N18, 000 minimum wage since 2011 till date.

“So, we are not as jittery as other states. But like I told you, this has also provided a very good platform for us to look at our wage structure, knowing that we pay the highest.

“We have the capacity to continue paying highest. We are going to use this opportunity and adjust and then make it easier for us to pay and for the workers to earn this money as and when due.

“It is going to be a win-win situation for everybody. The workers will be happy and the state will also be happy.

“I know that when we came in and did the biometrics and the new payroll administration strategy where we have centralized payroll system, that assisted us in realigning our wage structure and we made huge savings from that exercise.

“This exercise was basically for the MDAs, but the minimum wage now is going to give us the opportunity to look at what is being earned even in other parastatals like Abia Poly where the wage structure is dysfunctional because a PhD holder in Abia Poly earns higher than a professor in ABSU (Abia State University, Uturu).

“It is absurd and totally unacceptable. So, be rest assured that with the restructuring that we are trying to do, it will realign these things and make it look like what it should be, so that the state will be alive to its responsibility, these institutions will also be alive and running.

“We are going to restructure our salary wage bill to be in line with what is obtainable elsewhere.

“Concerning our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), we are currently undergoing restructuring. During the period of restructuring, you don’t get that kind of quantum leap that you expect, but any moment from now, we will start reaping the dividends of those things”.

Credit: The Nation

We are dying of hunger, retired Lagos teachers lame

We are dying of hunger, say retired Lagos teachers

Samson Folarin

Some retired workers from the Lagos State Ministry of Education have lamented the delay in the payment of their pensions.

The former teachers said more than two years after retirement, they had yet to receive any communication from the government over their entitlements.

They said while some of their colleagues had died without getting any payment, others were sick and lacked adequate medical care.

The retirees spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were afraid of intimidation.

A former primary school head teacher said all required documents for the processing and payment had been submitted.

She said, “I was a headteacher in a primary school before I retired in 2017. Till now, I have not received anything. All the documents they asked us to submit preparatory to our retirement were submitted. We were told that they had paid up till 2015. When will it get to us? Is it when we die and cannot eat the fruit of our labour? ”

Another retiree lamented that some pensioners lacked funds for basic necessities and had turned beggars.

“I also left service in 2017. Things are tough for many of us. For me, I have children who meet some of my needs. But what do we do about those who don’t have anything to rely on? Some have died of hunger, while many cannot even raise money to buy drugs.

“I served for 35 years. You can imagine someone who was getting paid for those years and for over two years has not received anything. How will such a person cope?” she said.

Another retiree, who also left service in 2017, said she hoped she would receive her entitlements while alive.

She lamented that life had been difficult for her family.

A former principal, who retired in 2015, however, told our correspondent that she received her pension entitlements in 2018.

She said retirees in her group embarked on “marathon prayers and fasting” before they got their payment “early.”

The sexagenarian said, “Those of us who retired in 2015 had to ask for divine intervention. It was sometime in 2018 that I got paid.

“The explanation our Pension Fund Administrators gave us was that our money was with the Lagos State Government. Our contributory pensions were remitted to our PFAs after April 2007. But the PFAs will not start paying when you retire until the government credits their accounts with their own part of the payment.

“Whenever we asked the government what was happening, they told us to wait for our bond. It was the day that Lagos State called us to come for our bond that we knew we were close to collecting our money.

“When they give you the bond certificate, you will submit it to your PFA, which will then add the value of the bond to the contributory pension. The result will be forwarded to the National Pensions Commission for processing.

“Based on a template, they will tell you the amount you can collect as a lump sum. That amount would be paid with the accumulated pensions from the date of your retirement. After that, you will start collecting the monthly pension.”

PUNCH Metro gathered that the hardship being suffered by retirees in Lagos made the group form the Lagos State Association of Retirees and PFA Pensioners.

During a meeting with the House of Assembly Committee on Establishment, Training, Pension and Public Service on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, the Chairman of the group, Michael Omisande, lamented that retirees were going through tough times.

“…those who retired from 2016 till date have yet to receive a penny for the past three years. It is very pathetic for retirees not to collect anything and there is no medical treatment for them for those three or four years. This act has resulted in making retirees beggars, sick, homeless, debtors and useless in their communities. Many of us have died as a result of the delay in payment.

“We met with the government delegation led by the Head of Service on February 11, 2019, where we tabled our grievances. At that meeting, we suggested to the government to find funds at all cost to pay, with or without bailout as we know that Lagos State is richer than 33 states put together in the federation. We are also the richest in terms of IGR. Treatment of retirees in Lagos State should be used as a parameter for others in the federation. We should be seen living a healthy life.

“At the February meeting, we advised the government to pay within two months; the two months have expired while they have yet to pay 2016 retirees. As senior citizens who laboured to build the state to this level, we do not want to be pushed to the wall, as a hungry man is an angry man. As a matter of urgency, we need our money; we are dying,” he said.

According to Omisande, the group had observed that for the government to pay 2016 retirees only, it needed N15bn.

He added that at the rate of N1bn per month which the state currently pays retirees in the state, it would take 15 months to complete the payment for 2016 retirees alone.

“It is a very wrong approach. In the area of health, the government has neglected retirees totally. We appreciate the free medical policy made for retirees, but it is on paper alone. It is not working at all as there are no drugs and medical personnel are not being monitored,” he added.

Omisande urged the Assembly to increase the budgetary allocation to the Lagos State Pension Commission to enable the directorate to pay backlog of entitlements.

The President of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Bunmi Ogunkolade, appealed to the state government to pay the entitlements as a matter of urgency.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, asked the retirees to be patient.

“The payment of 2016 retirees is ongoing now. Payment of 2017 retirees will commence once it is concluded. Those who joined the government after 2007 when the Contributory Pension Scheme began, are paid a month after retirement. This is because the state fully funds its contribution to the scheme. Other pre-2007 pension schemes are being paid in arrears. Let me assure you that the 2017 batch will be treated very soon,” he said in a text message.

Credit: The Punch

Minimum wage: We have only won first leg of the battle, Labour

Labour: we have won the first leg

by Toba Agboola

Labour yesterday hailed the signing of the Minimum Wage Bill into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, describing it as the first stage of victory for workers.

It said strict implementation of the new salary regime should begin immediately.

The workers leaders – Bobboi Kaigama of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joe Ajaero of the United Labour Congress (ULC) – said the signing was the first stage of the battle to ensure a living wage for their members.

They called for strict implementation of the wage to ensure that all the states and the private sector comply.

The Labour leaders plan to sanction any employer that refused to comply with the new minimum wage.

Speaking with The Nation, Ajaero said one leg of the battle has been won, adding “Labour is ready for the second battle”.

He said the level of enforcement by the states, government agencies and the private sector would be look into.

He said: “Experience has showed that some states, government agencies, private sector may not want to comply. So, we have to enforce strictly on this.

“Also, the insinuation that N27,000 is what will be approved has been laid to rest. I want use this opportunity to congratulates the Nigerian workers.”

Kaigama said: “It’s a victory for the Nigerian workers.

The TUC President said further: “What is needed now is strict follow up, saying that the minimum wage is long over due.

“We are happy that it has been finally signed. However, strict monitoring is necessary so that every employers will comply. I congratulates the Nigerian workers.”

Credit: The Nation

It is official: Minimum wage now N30,000 as Buhari assents to bill

BREAKING: Minimum wage now N30,000 as Buhari assents to bill


President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law the Minimum Wage Repeal and Re-Enactment Act, 2019.
By this act, the new minimum wage is now N30,000.
The President assented to the Act on Thursday in Abuja, mandating all employers of labour across the country to pay workers a minimum of N30,000 monthly wage.
The National Assembly had submitted the minimum wage bill to the President since March 27.
The bill approving N30,000 as the new national minimum wage was passed by both chambers of National Asaembly before they went on break for the 2019 general elections.
Earlier in the week, workers in the Federal Capital Territory had begged the President to sign the minimum wage bill.
Some of the workers had expressed concerns over the delay in signing the bill into law, adding that it was causing them unnecessary anxiety.

Sign minimum wage bill into law before Workers Day, NLC tells Buhari

Sign minimum wage bill into law before Workers Day, NLC tells Buhari

by Adeyinka Akintunde

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Thursday appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the new National Minimum Wage bill for the Nigerian workers recently passed into law by both chambers of the National Assembly before the 2019 workers day celebration.

Speaking in an interview with The Nation in Abuja, General Secretary of Congress, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson said with the passage of the bill into law, the President should immediately sign it into law in order to give effect to his promise to ensure the welfare of the Nigerian workers.

It was recently rumoured that the President has signed the bill into law giving workers hope that they may start enjoying the new minimum wage before the May day celebration, but it turned out to be a false alarm.

Both Chambers of the National Assembly passed N30,000 as the new national minimum, increasing the government recommendation of N27,000, but Ozo-Eson said the delay by Mr President over the wage for workers in the country has become very worrisome.

He said “We are concerned that it has taken this long, since the transmission from the National Assembly to the presidency of the bill that both house and the Senate passed.

“We have thought that given all processes before arriving at that point. The long delay in setting up a tripartite committee, the long period before the tripartite committee to now finalized and all the debates that have gone on

“We thought that this was something Mr President will ascent to very quickly. Because as we have earlier indicated, we will want this implementation to be on before May. That is by May Day workers can be assured of the direction of implementation

“Our position is to call on Mr. President to without further delay to ascent to the New National Minimum Wage bill. So that workers can start to enjoy the new minimum wage implementation before May Day.

He emphasized that apart from the public sector, workers in the private sector were also waiting for the law to be implemented in order to make its own full negotiations and plans, while insisting that in implementing the new national minimum wage would also allow the economy to be operated in an environment of certainty.

Credit: The Nation

Only 12% of workers contributing to pension scheme –PenCom

Only 12% of workers contributing to pension scheme –PenCom

Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

Out of the over 70 million people that represent the working population in Nigeria, only 8.41 million of them are currently making contributions into the Contributory Pension Scheme.

The 8.41 million contributors, according to figures obtained from the National Pension Commission, are about 12.09 per cent of the country’s working population.

When compared to the entire population of the country, the 8.41 million contributors are just about 4.29 per cent.

These figures are contained in a document sent by the Acting Chairman of PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, to an ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives set up to investigate the activities of the commission.

The Contributory Pension Scheme commenced in 2004 with the key objectives to assist individuals to save to cater to their livelihood during old age;

as well as establish a uniform set of rules and regulations for the administration and payment of retirement benefits in both the public and private sectors.

In the document obtained by our correspondent, the commission said that total pension fund assets had grown to N8.63tn as of December 2018, with average monthly contributions of N29.15bn.

It said the total pension asset was equivalent to 7.40 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product of the country.

The documents stated that as of December 2018, over 260,808 persons had retired under the scheme.

These 260,808 retirees, according to PenCom, are currently receiving an average monthly pension payment of N10.18bn.

It read in part, “The pension reform has gained public confidence and acceptability within the short period of its implementation.

“The private sector, which hitherto was apprehensive of the Contributory Pension Scheme as a ploy by the public sector to raise funds to address its huge pension liabilities, has come to accept and is religiously implementing the reform.

“To date, about 200,000 private sector employers of labour are implementing the CPS and have contributed about 60 per cent of the total pension fund assets.

“The Contributory Pension Scheme has also introduced transparency and integrity in the pension administration system in Nigeria.

“From the inception of the reform to date, there had not been a single incidence of fraud or mismanagement of the pension funds and assets under the scheme.”

Respite for electricity consumers as new law prescribes one-year jail, N1m fine for ‘crazy bill’, makes estimated bill a crime

‘Crazy bill’ to attract one-year jail, N1m fine

Leke Baiyewu

The Electricity Power Reform Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 passed by the House of Representatives last Tuesday prohibiting and criminalising estimated billing has proposed a one-year jail term and a fine of N1m for defaulters.

The proposed law, which will be transmitted to the Senate for concurrence, and onward transmission to the President for his assent, also compels all electricity distribution companies to give prepaid meters to applicants within 30 days.

If assented to, the law will bar a Disco from disconnecting a consumer after the 30-day period within which a meter should be installed.

The Majority Leader of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, sponsored the bill in protest against the ‘crazy’ billing of consumers by the Discos.

The lawmaker had stated that estimated billing could only be used in situations where a consumer’s meter could not be accessed by the service provider. He said Discos had however deemed estimated billing to be normal.

He said, “Any regulation that allows estimation of bills when the actual consumption can be ascertained is against natural justice and equity and should not stand.”

The majority leader had also said the bill, when passed into law, would stop estimated billing.

“The bill will ensure that prepaid meters are installed in all houses, so long as the customers apply for the meters,” he had said.

The House passed the bill upon the adoption of the committee report on the proposed law, following a public hearing held on June 5, 2018.

Gbajabiamila had, at the public hearing stated that there was nowhere in the world where electricity customers were billed arbitrarily.

Sections 68 to 72 are some of the amendments to the Principal Act. Section 68 states, “(1) Estimated billing methodology is hereby prohibited in Nigeria.

“(2) Every electricity consumer in Nigeria shall apply to the Electricity Distribution Company carrying out business within his (or her) jurisdiction for a prepaid meter and such consumer shall pay the regulated fee for prepaid meter to be installed in his (or her) premises and the Electricity Distribution Company shall within 30 days or receiving the application and payment install the prepaid meter applied for in the premises of the consumer.

“(3) Customers who elect to buy their prepaid meters through credit advancement metering implementation must state in their applications and such customers must be metered within 30 days of the receipt of their applications.

“(4) All electricity charges or billings to the premises of every consumer shall be based strictly on prepaid metering and no consumer shall be made to pay any bill without a prepaid meter first being installed at the premises of the consumer.”

In the new Section 69, the proposed law stipulates that the Disco serving the consumer, upon connection, must inform the customer in writing on the nature of the meter installed, tariff methodology and all other services available to the customer.

The new Section 70 states that in giving effect to the provisions of the Act, the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, as the regulatory body, must ensure that all licensed Discos comply with the provisions of this Act.

Source: The Punch

Minimum wage bill to be ready within one week, Reps Speaker pledges

Breaking: Reps to conclude Minimum wage legislative process within a week – Dogara


…to set up an ad -hoc C’tttee
By Emman Ovuakporie

ABUJA-THE Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara on Thursday said the House will conclude deliberations on the new minimum wage of N27,000.00 within the next one week.

The speaker made the disclosure immediately after reading President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter requesting that the minimum wage bill should be given a speedy legislative treatment.

Dogara told his colleagues that”an ad-hoc committee would be set up and by Tuesday next week we should be done. Details soon…

Source: Vanguard

Organised Labour Rejects N27,000 Minimum Wage

UPDATE: Organised Labour Rejects N27,000 Minimum Wage

By Soji-Eze Fagbemi With Agency Reports

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the N27,000 new National Minimum Wage adopted by the National Council of State on Tuesday.

Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, the NLC General Secretary, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, the council has no jurisdiction determining another amount after a Tripartite Committee has submitted its report.

“It is abysmal of government to be delaying the submission of an Executive Bill to the National Assembly and by wrongfully adopting N27,000 through the council of states,” he said.

Ozo-Eson, however, said the NLC has called an emergency National Executive Council meeting for Friday to weigh on the deadline given to government within which to submit an executive bill to the National Assembly.

The NLC general scribe added that the Federal Government was only projecting a shutdown of the economy with its latest action.

“This is because workers should not be held responsible for any development after its NEC meeting on Friday,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the United Labour Congress (ULC) called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to unfailingly transmit a bill containing N30, 000 minimum wage; which is the product of collective bargaining in the Tripartite Committee report to the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Following the approval of N27,000 by the National Council of State as the new national minimum wage on Tuesday, the ULC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), swiftly rejected the figure, saying that the Council of State lacks the constitutional power to approve or recommend minimum wage.

To the ULC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, the Council of State might have been playing their advisory role, thus only advising President Buhari and not recommending a minimum wage.

Comrade Ajaero said the Council of state has no legal power to approve or recommend minimum wage. In an interview with TribuneOnline, the ULC President said: “The Council of State does not have any constitutional power to approve or recommend minimum wage.

“So, if the Council of State is talking about N27,000 or N30,000, they are just being advisory. The Council of State cannot recommend minimum wage. So, we are still expecting Mr President to transmit the product of the collective bargaining in the Tripartite Committee report to the National Assembly tomorrow.”

He added: “There is nothing to be done to deny Nigerian workers any kobo from the N30,000 agreed by the Tripartite group. Maybe the Council of State advised him. That should be advisory.”

Also, in a statement issued by the ULC, the Congress said the unilateral N27,000 national minimum wage is unacceptable, saying, “The emerging news of the unfortunate decision of the Federal Government through the National Council of State to unilaterally propose N27,000 as the new National Minimum Wage is shocking and goes against the grain of all known traditions and practices of Industrial Relations especially as it concerns National Minimum Wage setting framework.

Rising from its Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Tuesday in Lagos, the statement said the ULC “Rejects in its entirety the proposed N27,000 which is contrary to the N30,000 agreed by the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Committee and which has since been submitted to the President.”

The statement, also signed by Comrade Ajaero said: “We state that the National Council of State in a National Minimum Wage setting mechanism is an aberration. It is also important that we make it clear that the National Council of State does not have powers to approve, confirm, affirm or accept any figure as the new National Minimum Wage.

“What they have pretended to have done is therefore without any force of Law, standards or other known practices of Industrial Relations the world over.”

He added: “It is a mockery of the essence and principle behind the setting of a National Minimum Wage to attempt to segregate it between Federal Workers and State Workers.

“We want to state that workers are workers everywhere whether at the Federal Level or at the State Level. They all have the same challenges; go to the same market, same schools and much more they suffer the same fate. You cannot, therefore, pay them differently.”

The ULC warned: “We will however in the next few days in consultation with other Labour Centres if they are still in the struggle for a just national minimum wage take steps to ensure that the interests of Nigerian workers as it concerns the National Minimum Wage are protected.

“We urge the President to disregard the pronouncement of the National Council of State as it ridicules the statutes and principles governing the nation. The only honourable path he should tread is to transmit the N30,000 figure as agreed by the Tripartite Committee and even the President on the day of submission of the Committee’s report.

“We will not accept the use of any cover of state to jettison the collective will of Nigerian workers and the trade union movement.”

In its own reaction, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) also rejected outrightly the new National Minimum wage of N27, 000 as recommended by the National Council of State.

The congress pointed out that the fact that the federal government agrees to pay N30, 000 notwithstanding; it would not accept it.

In a statement signed by the TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama and the Secretary-General, Comrade Musa Lawal, the Congress said the Council of State decision, though advisory in nature, “is weighty and may give the semblance of authority to the decision.

“This decision must not be allowed to stand because it will set the wrong precedent for the future: i.e, after statutory bodies have done their jobs, Council of State will now sit to review it.”

The statement added: “Let it be known that N30,000 minimum wage is a product of negotiation, not legislation, not advise and not a decree.

“Minimum wage issue, therefore, is moving to a new theatre, the National Assembly. We expect the representative of the people if really they are to do the needful during the public hearing.”

Source: Tribune

Minimum wage: FG sends proposal to NEC Thursday

Minimum wage: FG to send proposal to NEC Thursday

John Ameh, Abuja

The Federal Government is set to present the N30,000 new National Minimum Wage proposal to the National Economic Council on Thursday (tomorrow) for further consultations.

This was the key resolution of an extraordinary meeting of the Federal Executive Council, which ended in Abuja on Tuesday night.

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the meeting at the Presidential Villa.

State governors, the Central Bank of Nigeria and some major Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government constitute the NEC.

The Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, informed State House correspondents after the FEC rose that deliberations centred on the minimum wage.

Mohammed did not give further details aside from saying that the government would meet with NEC for more talks.

He said, “Until after the meeting of the NEC, l cannot (give details) because it is work in progress, since it will also be discussed at the NEC meeting before we come out with the decision. Thereafter, we can address the media.”

The NEC is chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Last week, Buhari inaugurated a technical committee to guide the government on how to implement a new wage bill.

The inauguration of the committee came soon after the President also made a commitment to forward a bill on the new minimum wage to the National Assembly.