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Minimum Wage: Labour Chief Defends Time Frame For Negotiations

The secretary of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, Alade Lawal, has said the four weeks given the minimum wage negotiating committee to complete its work is not too much.

According to him, a lot of work will be done during the implementation of the new minimum wage negotiations.

The Federal Government on Tuesday inaugurated the committee to negotiate the consequential adjustments in salaries arising from the N30,000 new minimum wage with the committee led by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said during the inauguration of the panel in Abuja that the committee had been given four weeks to work on the adjustments.

Some workers at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, bemoaned the time frame for the assignment, saying it would delay the implementation of the new minimum wage.

In an exclusive interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, Lawal, who appealed to workers to be patient, said it was necessary for the committee to have enough time before making recommendations to the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

He said, “The four-week period given the committee to work is not too much. The minimum wage issue cuts across the entire service. When you talk of the public service, you have more than 16 salary structures. We are talking of negotiating on behalf of more than 908,000 workers that draw their salaries from the national treasury. You have to bring out all the structures and look at how to adjust them based on the new minimum wage. It requires a lot of computation and you also have to bear in mind the extent that the government is ready to go. We are going to be guided by the budget so that the process can be meaningful.”

Cull from Punch