The full implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage for civil servants may not take effect this month.
According to our source,The Chairman of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, Abdrafiu Adeniji said, despite President Muhammadu Buhari signing the National Minimum Wage Act into law in April, technicalities surrounding negotiation process might necessitate the first batch of salaries to be paid in arrears.
According to Abdrafiu Adeniji, while the council is ready for negotiation, the Federal Government has yet to come up with the salary table that will begin negotiations.
He also said, “Negotiation is a technical issue that must be handled well. We have to look at many indices. The government is expected to make its own preparations, specifying what it intends to add to salaries. Eight bodies will eventually meet to conclude the negotiations. If workers cannot get the new salary in May, there is always room for payment of arrears.”
The Secretary of the JNPSNC, Alade Lawal, warned federal and state governments against the burden of heavy arrears.
The Secretary Alade Lawal , who is in charge of negotiations on behalf of workers, warned government of the danger in delaying negotiations with labour.
He recalled that the last negotiations when the minimum wage was raised to N18,000 was poorly handled, adding that the JNPSNC would negotiate the best deal for workers this time round.
Lawal added that the negotiating body would be headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, with the Head of Service, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Ministry of Finance, Budget Office, Accountant General Office and organised labour, which will be represented by officials of the JNPSNC.
He said, “The last negotiation was bungled when the minimum wage was raised to N18,000 because N900 was added to salaries across board. We are trying to avoid that. We presented a table then with the financial cost being N55bn monthly but they said the money was too much. Those who handled the negotiation eventually agreed on N11bn.
“The number of employees in the public service including the security agencies, universities and polytechnic then was around 950,000.They now shared the money with everyone getting N900 salary addition. That was the error at the time,He said.