Backdate Implementation of Minimum Wage to April, Labour Urges FG

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Organised Labour under the auspices of the Trade Union Side (TUS) of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) has expressed support for the federal government’s move to carry out general salary review in the public service.

While commending government and other stakeholders that participated in the just concluded negotiation on consequential adjustment arising from the N30,000 monthly new National Minimum Wage, the unions expressed the hope that government would commence its implementation with effect from April 18 when new minimum wage bill was signed into law.

JNPSNC, in a statement yesterday by its Acting National Chairman, Comrade Anchaver Simon, and General Secretary, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal, said it welcomed the statement made the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, during the signing of the new minimum wage adjustment agreement that federal government has set up a committee to start a holistic review of salaries of workers in the public sector.

“We are also glad that government has taken note of the need for a general salary review in the public service. We are looking forward to this review and we hope that the federal government will keep to its promise which was made during the negotiation of consequent adjustment,” the union stated.

The union also advised that “since the 2019 national minimum wage was signed into law by Mr. President on 18th April, 2019, the implementation should start from that date so as not to trigger off another avoidable round of agitation by public service employees and their trade unions.”

It expressed the hope that all sides at the just concluded negotiation had learnt few lessons that would enable them avoid similar mistakes in future including attempts by some fifth columnist on government side to derail collective bargaining
process.

“We are particularly glad that the Honourable Labour Minister has urged all employers covered by the 2019 National Minimum Wage Act to commence payment failing which the trade unions should declare trade disputes against such employers at the ministry or drag them to the National Industrial Court,” the union added.

According to the TUS, the Acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Folashade Yemi-Esan, also deserved commendation for bringing her motherly disposition to bear on the negotiation process and for assuring the nation that necessary arrears would be paid.