FEC sets deadline for payment of new minimum wage arrears

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, directed the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, to effect payment of the new minimum wage on or before December 31, 2019.

It approved that the minimum wage effective date as April 18, 2019.

Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige made the disclosure when he briefed State House Correspondents in Abuja.

Ngige said Council also approved the payment of all outstanding financial implications of the consequential adjustments as worked out by the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, beginning from April 18.

“Today we sent to the Council our report and the conciliation that was done last week between the organised labour and government on the issue of the new national minimum wage fixed at N30,000 a month and the consequential adjustment that were meant to salaries and wage structures of the public service.

“Last week, I told you that salaries and wage structure are compartmentalised into four class. Health, Armed Forces service, research institutes and the paramilitary. So they have percentage increase in their wage structure and for emphasis the 07 compartment received 23.2 percent rise, grade level 08, 20 percent, grade level 9, 19 percent, grade level 10-14, 16 percent and grade level 15 and 17 , 14 percent in the CONPPS which is the pure civil service structure and agencies earning the same wages as those in the public service.

“You have the CONRESS AND CONTISS which is compactment  2; they have 23.2 percent equivalent and 14-16 10.5 percent. Police and other security agencies because they have had a pay rise last year, were consequentially adjusted to between 4 and 7 percent. Same goes for the paramilitary they also have their consequential pay rise.

“Council today approved for us that the financial implications be worked out by the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, as consequential adjustments should take effect from April 18, the date the new national minimum wage came into being.

“The Council also approved for us that the financial implications be worked out and the attendant payments completed on or before December 31.

“Council further directed that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, through the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, should effect all these payments as scheduled before December 31.

“Council further directed also that the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and the Ministry of Labour and Employment should send the consequential adjustment (wage) table to down to the States and Local Governments.

“This is to serve as an advisory document for their information and guidance, as they negotiate with their joint national public service councils in their respective states because the national minimum wage is a national law,’’ he said.

Organised labour and the Federal Government had, on October 18, reached an agreement on the consequential adjustments of the implementation of the new minimum wage of N30,000, after three days of negotiation.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has faulted the December 31 deadline.

General Secretary of the NLC, Emman Ugboaja,  who spoke with Daily Sun in Enugu, venue of ongoing National Leadership Retreat of the Congress, said government cannot make law and break it.

He stated that the NLC’s next line of action would be guided by the members’ position on the issue.

“We have our members that work in those places. If they say it’s payable before the date set by government, then we will not accept it. We are not going to accept FEC position hook line and sinker. We are going to discuss with our members,” the NLC scribe said.

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