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Ngige: FG Has Proposed Pay Rise for Public Servants Effective  January

<strong>Ngige: FG Has Proposed Pay Rise for Public Servants Effective  January</strong>

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) yesterday crushed 476 impounded motorcycles in Area 1 in its renewed offensive on the enforcement of the ban on Okada riders within the federal capital city.

The Senior Special Assistant to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Ikharo Attah, expressed shock that after the repeated warnings through different platforms, and the crushing over 1,000 impounded bikes some months ago, people were still taking unnecessary economic risk by bringing in droves commercial motorcycles to restricted areas.

“It is worrisome that despite all that we do on a daily basis, the activities of these commercial motorcyclists have been linked with criminal activities.

“They ought not to operate within the capital city, but here we have them operating in total contraventions of what the law says in a modern city like Abuja,” Attah said.

He vowed that the taskforce team would not be deterred in the enforcement of the Okada ban despite being pelted with stones by a mob during the enforcement exercise.

Attah vowed that legal enforcement of laws could not be dissuaded by impunity and attacks of any kind.

“I thought that having crushed many of the illegal bikes, this menace would have reduced. If not that we crush them publicly, people would have been thinking that we sell them to ourselves.

“We are crushing them in the full public glare and scrap is sold and the money paid into government’s account,” he said.

Also Speaking, the Director Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) Dr. Abdulateef Bello, said that the impounding and crushing of the bikes would be sustained, so long as the operators keep violating the restrictions.

He urged FCT’s residents to help government in discouraging the lawlessness of the okada riders, stating that the restrictions were still valid, and that the administration would remain committed to zero tolerance to violation of extant rules.  

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, yesterday said that the federal government was  on the verge of approving  salary increase for all categories of public service workers in the country. 

Ngige, who did not state the percentage or amount being proposed, said that pay increase is a peculiar allowance meant to cushion the effects of inflation, increase in cost of living, increase in transportation, increase in housing cost, hike in electricity tariff and other utilities. If approved, it takes effect from January 1, 2023.

Ngige also said that government had approved different percentage of pay increase for staff of corporations and agencies of  depending peculiarities of each organisation.

The minister spoke in an interview on Channels Television last night.

In a response to a question on whether the government will fulfill its promise on salary increase for workers, Ngige said: “What I said in January was that federal government was looking at giving people in the public service a pay rise to take care  of the increased cost of living. In the Presidential Committee on Salary Review, we have done something for the civil servants, that is hardcore civil servants and those who are on Consolidated Public Servants Scheme and some corporations, MDAs are on that salary scale. We have handled it and we have made our recommendations and put percentages for the president to approve. And we recommended that it should take effect from January 1, 2023. We have provision for it in the 2023 budget and so we are not afraid of saying to Mr. President please we need you to look at this and approve it.

“The money was appropriated under the Service Wide for payment to civil servants”.

“If approved, it takes effect from January 1, 2023. Ngige also said that government has approved different percentage of pay increase for staff of corporations and agencies of  depending peculiarities of each organisation,” Ngige said.

According to the minister, some of the  organisations that will benefit from the pay rise include, Nigerian Ports Authority,  Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Federal Inland Revenue Service and others.

Speaking on the possibility of negotiating a  new minimum wage before the exit of the current administration on May 29, Ngige said that it wasn’t a promise he made. The minister said that what  he meant was that since the decision at the last minimum wage agreement in 2018 was that future reviews would be  done every five years, talks for the next minimum wage would begin by May this year.

“ One of the decisions reached at that time in 2018 by the minimum wage committee headed by Mrs. Ama Pepple was that minimum wage will now have a review every five years. So from 2019 to 2024 will be five years.

“We also made a recommendation in our submission that the negotiation one year before, from May 2024.  I am envisaging  that the government will empanel a new minimum wage review committee to start the process of approving a new minimum wage for the country,” he added.

Ngige projected that the next minimum wage will not be lower than what is obtainable in neighbouring Ghana.

When asked to assess the fulfillment of the promise made by the out-going administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari to provide jobs, Ngige said the government tried its best but that its plans were hampered by unexpected economic down turn.

He said that the administration suffered what he described as force majeure   through unexpected economic down turn.

On the issue of concerns expressed by the labour unions on hardships brought about by the federal government’s Naira Redesign policy, Ngige also said that the policy had yielded positive gains, leading to a reduction in kidnapping, banditry and election rigging through vote-buying.

Ngige also spoke on efforts to avert looming industrial action over difficulties imposed on workers and Nigerians by cash drought and petrol scarcity.

He said that his ministry worked well with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele to dissuade the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC’) from carrying out their threat to embark on nationwide protest and strike.

Ngige defended the federal government’s Naira Redesign policy and the push for a cashless system of transaction, saying that despite the unintended hardship, the policies was able to stem the tempo okidnapping, banditry and vot- buying during the last  general election in the country.

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