Chris Steven, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo resolved on Wednesday that the full implementation and payment of the new minimum wage to Nigerian workers should take effect from April 18, 2019.
The decision was sequel to an earlier agreement between organized labour and the Federal Government on the consequential adjustments.
In the consequential adjustments agreed upon by the labour stakeholders, workers on grade levels 07 will henceforth receive a 23.2percent increase in their salaries, staff on grade 08 will get 20percent increase, 09, 19percent, between 10-14 will are expecting a raise of 16percent while levels 15-17 will get 14percent respectively.
Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige while briefing State House correspondents on the new development, said FEC has issued a directive to the National Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission to effect the payments, including arrears owed workers reflecting the consequential adjustments.
He said a deadline of December 2019 was also set to effect all payments while the benchmarks will be forwarded to state governments to guide them in their own implementation.
The Minister of Labour and Employment said government settled for the April 18 date, since it was the date the new minimum wage Act was signed.
Labour and government officials came to a compromise on the consequential adjustments, recently, after workers had threatened an indefinite strike.
Ngige’s exact words, “Today we sent to the Federal Executive Council our report and the conciliation that was done last week between the organised labour and federal government of Nigeria on the issue of the new national minimum wage which has been fixed at N30,000 a month and the consequential adjustment that were meant to salaries and wage structures of the public service thereto.
“You will recall that last week when I briefed the press, I told you that the salaries and wage structure are compartmentalized into four class. Health, Armed forces, research institutes and the paramilitary. So they have percentage increase in their wage structure and for emphasis the 07 compartment received 23.2 percent rise, grade level 08, 20 percent, grade level 9, 19 percent grade level 10-14, 16 percent and grade level 15 and 17 , 14 percent in the CONPPS which is the pure civil service structure and agencies earning the same wages as those in the public service.
“You have the CONRESS AND CONTISS which is compartment 2, they have 23.2 percent equivalent and 14-16 10.5 percent. Police and other security agencies because they have had a pay rise, last year, they were consequentially adjusted to between 4 and 7 percent. Same goes for the paramilitary they also have their consequential pay rise.
“So FEC today approved for us that the financial implications worked out by the National Incomes and Wages Commission that the salaries adjustment should take effect as 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 also 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 government 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”.
Meanwhile, the FEC also approved over N1.7billion to procure and install communication equipment, including console at control towers in Zaria and Katsina airports.
According to Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the equipment were being procured to sustain security measures around the nation’s airports, especially with the recent certification standards by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
“We presented a memorandum for the award of contract for the procurement and installation of communications equipment and absolute control contour for control towers in Zaria and Katsina.
“The total contract sum is N1,71460,196.10 including Value Added Tax (VAT). The completion period is for eight months. This is to address critical safety issues in such a way that there will be better communication and efficiency in the control towers in Zaria and Katsina and this is ongoing similar to what we have done in other airports. This is to make air transposition more efficient to make sure we save time and money,” he stated.
FEC also reviewed the nomenclature of the communications sector, changing the parent body to Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
Justifying the name change, Minister of Communications, Isa Pantami said it was to reflect the potentials of digital economy to the country’s Gross Domestic Products(GDP).
According to him, while oil and gas contributed 8percent to the economy in the first quarter of 2019, information and communication technology(ICT) contributed 13.8percent to the national GDP.
Pantami explained that to leverage on the gains of ICT, the federal government has unveiled some policy frameworks like improving infrastructures to bridge gaps in the communication networks.
He noted that government was also boosting digital literacy and intervening where necessary, like helping people to migrate seamlessly from traditional ways of doing business to digital systems.