Sunday, May 02, 2010

Now we're talking. Nigeria's minimum wage doubled.

Source: ThisDayOnline
A new pay package for Nigerian civil servants will be operational in three months, Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, has said. When operational, the least paid worker would go home with N18,000 at the end of every month as against the N7,500 minimum wage that presently obtains.

Jonathan while addressing workers on the occasion of the May Day celebration, pleaded with the civil servants to shelve their planned five-day warning strike scheduled to commence tomorrow, and assured them that the issues in dispute would be resolved within the next three months.
He also disclosed that he had directed the Minister of Labour, Chief Chukwuemeka Wogu, to ensure that negotiations with the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council achieves the desired results within the next three months.
“This important assignment of which I understand you are respectfully represented in the committee is nearing conclusion. The National Committee on Parameters for Wages in the public segment is also working assiduously to ensure that we have a mechanism that will make for adjustment on workers’ remuneration gradual.

“I sincerely plead with the civil service unions to negotiate with the government because of the warning strike they have presented to us. I believe very sincerely that Nigeria and indeed the rest of the society must develop to a point that workers will not negotiate for salary increase,” he said.
Jonathan said this year’s Workers Day celebrations coincide with the Golden Jubilee of the nation’s independence.
He gave the assurance that the federal government was working assiduously to address issues of employment generation, Niger Delta crisis, electoral reform, power supply and other necessities for national development.
“For me I promise honest service. I will give all my heart and mobilise every available talent of Nigerians wherever they are to meet the expectations of our people. As we are going into an election year, the issue of credible of election is top on my agenda to national liberation.

"I have taken the challenge of an inadequate power supply, peace and rapid development of Niger Delta, food security as well as overall security of all Nigerians and promoting credible elections as priorities in the concluding months of this administration," Jonathan said.
Jonathan also told the rally of thousands of workers that his government would give Nigerians free, fair and credible elections in 2011, compared with previous polls that were judged to be largely flawed by local and international observers, including the United Nations and the United States.
He also promised to improve security in the restive, oil-rich Niger Delta that has in the past three years been the theatre of kidnappings and attacks.

Jonathan expressed government's resolve to provide a conducive environment for the workforce.
He said his presence at the occasion was a demonstration of the administration's belief that to build a strong democracy, there must be a virile labour movement.
According to the Acting President, no nation can develop beyond what the collective efforts of its working population can present. "The rate and size of a country's development is dependent on the size of its economy and therefore the need for an expanded economy for the good of our people", Jonathan said.
He said there was an on-going effort by government to create a new Nigeria anchored on social justice, industrial peace and harmony, due process and the rule of law and thus called for a collective effort to achieve a solid and prosperous nation.

Jonathan promised to provide honest service on his part as government works towards ensuring transparency and accountability in the conduct of its business.
President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Omar Abdulwaheed in his speech said the negotiation over the National Minimum Wage has dragged for several months. He said they were earlier hoping that the issue would have been concluded and that the government would announce it to the workers on May Day (yesterday) based on the agreement reached.
“In the same vein, we have followed the negotiations on relativity in the public service and the apparent lack of progress in the process. The distortion occasioned by the consolidated salary structure in the public service is not only unjust but against the principles of equity and social justice,” he said.

He pointed out that the tripartite committee had completed its work. “Your Excellency, the ball is now in the court of the executive arm to fast track the promulgation of the committee recommendations into a New National Minimum Wage Law. Nigerian workers will not accept any further delay on this matter,” he said.
President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Peter Esele, expressed disappointment that the civil servants were offered only a 10 per cent salary increment while the Police and other services got between 60 and 100 per cent.
He also called for sincere efforts to address the various problems of the country which have all contributed to hinder the country’s growth.

“TUC will support any action taken by the Association of Senior Civil Servants to address this injustice as we will not accept anything less than N18, 000 as minimum wage payable to Nigerian workers.”
The theme for this year's celebration is '50 years of Nationhood and the Working Class: Challenges of Good Governance, Unity and Credible Elections'.

Comments:
- The unions most recently demanded a minimum wage of =N=43,000. The minimum wage of =N=18,000 is a step in the right direction. It will make a real difference in the lives of many Nigerians, especially those employed in the government.
- NYSC allowance must be increased, from under =N=10,000 per month. The excuse given for keeping it at that unlivable low had been that it was "pegged" to the minimum wage. Now, there'll be an automatic increase, unless someone is not doing his/her job (and that someone should then be sacked.)
- Obviously, the pay awarded by the government to some people is at levels too high for services rendered. Time to review the excessive pay and "allowances."
- While the Prez is doing the right thing on many fronts, "eye on the ballz" - 1. Electoral Reform. 2. Electric Power. These two must be delivered as well as other priorities within the next few months.

1 comment:

t said...

It's not clear whether the increase was actually agreed or not. It seems I have to avoid reposting "breaking news" items, if they're going to turn out to be incorrect.
Anyway, in the news today:
Source: AllAfrica.com
Nigeria: Federal Workers Suspend Strike Action
Francis Okeke
4 May 2010

The planned 5-day warning strike by federal Government workers to press their demand for higher pay, scheduled to start this morning, was called off at the last minute last night after an emergency meeting between top government officials and leaders of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council.

The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, signed by Head of the Civil Service of the Federation Stephen Oronsaye and the workers' acting chairman Comrade Olakunle Olaitan, said a Negotiating Team should be inaugurated on Thursday, May 6. It said all issues in dispute between the two parties should be negotiated and the negotiation should be concluded within two weeks. The communiqué also said they noted the appeal by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to labour leaders at the May Day celebrations last Saturday.

Apart from Oronsaye, the government team at the talk included Labour and Productivity Minister Chief Emeka Wogu as well as his Special Duties counterpart Captain Ernest Olubolade.

Jonathan had said during the May Day rally at the Eagle Square, Abuja that he had directed the Minister of Labour and Productivity and the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to conclude all negotiations in three months' time and come up with increased wages. Comrade Olakunle Olaitan however said the strike must go on as intended because all their members across the nation had approved and sealed the decision.

Federal civil servants are demanding a salary increment of 75.37% but the government, after a series of meetings, only agreed to a 10% increase. They are also calling for the abolishing of the "wide disparity" that exists in the salaries of permanent secretaries and directors in the Service.

They decried a situation where "a permanent secretary earns up to ten times what a director earns and it is the directors who do all the work." They called for relativity in the amount earned by all categories of workers "for the sake of justice."

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