- *Renames Ministry of Communications
By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The Federal Executive Council rose from its weekly meeting in Abuja Wednesday with a directive to the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to effect the payment of consequential adjustments on the new minimum wage before December 31.
Briefing reporters at the end of the meeting in the State House, the Minister Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, said the payment would take effect from April 18, this year when the new minimum wage Act received the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari.
This decision by Wednesday’s FEC meeting, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was the fallout of the agreement reached last week by the federal government and the organised labour.
After several meetings last week following the threat by the organised labour to commence an industrial action over the non-implementation of consequential adjustments on the new national minimum wage of N30,000.
At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that 23.2 percent increase would be paid to workers on grade level 07; 20 per cent for those on grade level 08; 19 per cent rise for workers on grade level 09; 16 per cent increase for those on level 10-14 and 14 percent pay rise for those on grade level 15-17.
According to Ngige, the council mandated the Salaries, Wages and Income Commission and the Ministry of Labour and Employment to send the consequential adjustment table to states and local governments to provide them with advisory information and guidance on the consequential adjustments.
“So FEC today approved for us that the financial implications worked out by the National Incomes and Wages Commission that the salary adjustments should take effect from April 18, 2019, the day the new National Minimum Wage Act came into being.
“Council also approved for us that the financial implication be worked out and the payment should be completed in or before December 2019. 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 before 31 December 2019.
“Council further directed that the National Income and Wages Commission and the Ministry of Labour and Employment should send the consequential adjustment table down to the states and local governments as an advisory document for their information, and guidance for their national joint public service status in their respective states because the national minimum wage is a national law,” Ngige said.
The minister also said the police and other security and Paramilitary agencies would enjoy only a pay rise of 4-7 percent increase because their own salaries had been adjusted last year.
Also briefing, the Minister of Communications, Ali Patami, said the council approved the renaming of the Ministry of Communications as the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
According to him, digital economy to the ministry’s name had become compelling because digital economy dominates contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to him, whereas the oil sector contributed only 8 percent to the economy at the last quarter, the information communication technology contributed 13.8 percent adding that the development compelled the federal government to ensure the existence of a ministry that will oversee the development of digital economy in accordance with global practices.
Patami explained that following the decision, the ministry will be saddled with the responsibility of developing a national digital economic policy and infrastructure to aid the country’s migration from traditional way of life to digitisation.
The minister also said the ministry had totally ordered the cancellation of the proposed unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) with a caveat that if the telecoms companies want to make charges, they should settle it with their collaborating banks and not to be visited on citizens.