Labour yesterday requested that all processes leading to the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage should be completed next month.
It also vowed not to accept anything less than the N30,000 recommended by the Tripartite Committee to President Muhammadu Buhari.
President of Trade Union Congress (TUC) Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, who spoke at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association, said there was the urgent need to fast-track the implementation of the new wage.
Kaigama said he would not pre-empt President Buhari that the N30,000 agreed through tripartite negotiation could be reduced,but he added: The Federal Government is advised to avoid any action that can delay or truncate the process of enacting the new Minimum Wage Act as the consequences of allowing that to happen can be very devastating.
“It is worthy of note that the single most important issue agitating the mind of an average Nigerian worker today is that of the new National Minimum Wage, the report of which was presented to Mr. President on Tuesday 6th November, 2018. It is apt to state that against all odds the Tripartite Committee that negotiated the new Minimum Wage was able to scale all hurdles and agreed to the sum of N30,000 as the new minimum wage for the country.
“It is on this premise that I strongly want to appeal to the Federal Government to fast track the process of enacting the new National Minimum Wage into law.
“Our expectation is that the Government should be able to complete the entire process before the end of this year so that workers who have waited for so long can begin to enjoy a new lease of life provided by the newly agreed minimum wage.”
He argued that the core civil service, which is the engine room of government, is the least paid in the Public Service; since other segments have had their emoluments beefed up over the years.
He explained that though civil servants possess the same qualifications and experience as their counterparts in the agencies, “yet, the salaries of these other employees are, in most cases, three times more than that of officers in the core Ministries.
“This situation has been made worse by the fact that since 2010 when Salary Relativity was carried out in the core civil service, no salary increment has been granted to civil servants except for the N900 monthly that was added to the emoluments of senior officers across board after N18,000 was approved as the National Minimum Wage in 2011.”
Secretary General Association of Senior Civilm Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Comrade Lawal, said they were holding President Buhari to his words that he would send the report submitted to him to the National Assembly