It’ll be devastating to truncate minimum wage implementation, Labour warns

ABUJA—THE organised labour yesterday, warned that any attempt by the Federal Government to delay or truncate the newly-agreed national minimum wage of N30,000 would have a devastating effect in the country. The organised labour has also lamented that the vexed issue of corruption still remained one of the major challenges facing the nation, saying corruption in the country had now assumed an alarming and horrendous proportion. President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, Bobboi Kaigama who spoke while addressing the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the association, in Abuja, frowned at what he described as illegal recruitment and appointment of officers including Permanent Secretaries into the civil service. Kaigama, who is also the President of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, while harping on the need for the government to fast-track implementation of the newly agreed national minimum wage said it was the expectation of Nigerian workers that the Federal Government should be able to complete the process of new wage before the end of this year. He noted that the single most important issue agitating the mind of an average Nigerian worker presently was the issue of minimum wage in which the report of the Tripartite Committee had been submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari. According to him, “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 on 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 new minimum wage. “The Federal Government is advised to avoid any action that can delay or truncate the process of enacting the new Minimum Wage as the consequences of allowing that to happen can be very devastating.” On the need for upward wage review in the civil service, Kaigama alleged that the core civil service which he described as the engine room of government had remained the least paid in the public service, noting that other segments had their emoluments beefed up over the years. He said, “This situation has been made worse by the fact that since 2010 when salary review 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.” On the alleged illegal appointment/extension of tenure of Permanent Secretaries, he said those who benefited from such anomaly should as a matter of urgency relinquish the positions. He said, “I must now dwell on the vexed issue of illegal recruitment and appointment of officers including Permanent Secretaries into the Civil Service which we have been battling over the years.”


Kaigama lamented that  despite the effort of the federal government to tackle corruption in the polity, it had assumed an alarming proportion. He said: “The vexed issue of corruption still remains one of the major challenges facing us as a nation. This hydra-headed monster continues to loom large in our country in spite of the initial steps taken to address the menace by the present administration. “Corruption in Nigeria has now assumed a very alarming proportion that can be described as horrendous. The Nigerian political class should know that there is no way this country can be inspired to greatness if this beast is not decapitated and rooted out of our system before it leads to catastrophic consequences.”