Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, on Monday met with labour leaders in the state. The labour leaders were led by the Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Bayo Titilola-Sodo.
The meeting comes amid the logjam that has met the implementation of the national minimum wage at the state and federal levels since the new minimum wage was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2019.
According to a social media post by Governor Makinde, various issues regarding the welfare of workers and pensioners in the state were discussed at the meeting.
“Our administration is committed to fulfilling our campaign promise to prioritise the welfare of workers and pensioners.”
Newspeakonline recalls that the governor in May stated that it would be difficult for his administration to pay the new minimum wage of N30,000 per month. He had opined that the Federal Government should have allowed states to determine their own minimum wage according to their capacities.
Although the union leaders then insisted that nothing short of the new mnimum wage will be accepted from the new government, they expressed readiness to dialogue with the government on the way forward.
No state in the country has started payong the new minimum wage to its workers. The Federal Government which is even expected to show leadership in the implementation is yet to commence the payment, with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, recently blaming the delay on unrealistic demands from senior civil servants.
Negotiation between the Federal Government and the Joint National Public Negotiation Council had broken down because of differences in percentage increase in the salaries of workers.
While the FG representatives in the technical committee set up to negotiate the consequential increase had proposed 9.5 per cent salary increase for workers on Grade Levels 07 to 14 and five per cent increase for employees on Grade Levels 15 to 17, labour representatives are demanding for 30 per cent salary increase for workers on Grade Levels seven to 14 and 25 per cent for workers on Grade Levels 15 to 17.
While speaking with journalists at the opening ceremony of a retreat on 2017-2020 federal civil service strategy and implementation plan organised by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation in Abuja on Monday, Oyo-Ita said: “President Buhari is keen on the implementation of new Minimum Wage and that is why the committee set up on the consequential adjustment arising from the new Minimum Wage has been meeting unions within labour union and public service to arrive at a consequential adjustment.
“There were a few not very realistic demands from the unions and so as not to continue delaying the implementation of the well thought out and dear policy of the President, we have to go ahead and seek his approval for the implementation while we continue discussion on the consequential adjustment.”