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FG working on early implementation of new minimum wage — SGF

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President Muhammadu Buhari


The Federal Government is working toward early implementation of new minimum wage which has caused a lot of controversies in recent times, Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the
Government of the Federation (SGF) said

Mustapha made this known on Thursday in Abuja at the opening of a one-day symposium on the 25th anniversary of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) which has “Overcoming the Challenges of Compensation and Productivity in Nigeria” as its theme.

Represented by Mr Olusegun Adekunle, the Permanent Secretary, General Services Office, Office of the SGF, the SGF said that the present administration was committed to the welfare of Nigerian workers.

He said “I wish to point out that the focus of the national minimum income wage is on government employees, this critical sector ought not to be left behind and nobody will be left behind.

“Such employees are also dominantly found in the informal sector and the small scale organisations.

“However, it is important to know that the revision of the minimum wage should be taken through due process and all key stakeholders carried along.”

Mustapha said that the pay relativity question could not be resolved without the development and implementation of a new job evaluation scheme.

He, therefore, urged the NSIWC to commence the process, adding that government had also observed that productivity needed to take the centre stage in wage determination.

He also urged the commission to leverage on the pilot schemes it was working on in collaboration with the National Productivity Centre to raise a production team in the public service.

The government scribe said that public office holders must bear in mind that remuneration packages for their various offices were appropriately spelt out in the law.

He added that it would be inappropriate for anyone to allow himself to be paid higher than what the law stipulates, noting that “any infraction reported by NSIWC in the course of carrying out its mandate shall be investigated and punished by the anti-graft agencies in future.”

According to him, government is concerned about the spate of strikes in the country as it affects the economy over the last decade, especially the public sector.

He called on labour unions to resist the urge to resort to work stoppages without exhausting alternatives and more peaceful options for conflict resolution.

He said that the Federal Government remained committed to the stability and development of the economy and service delivery to the public as stakeholders in the nation.

Mr Ayuba Wabba, the President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said that “in our system today, it is the political class that determines the wages of workers, while they the political class determines and collects what it wants, which is higher.

“There must be social justice in wage fixing, therefore, this issue is an issue that I think the wages commission needs to engage our political class and get this information to them.

“We have heard arguments where state governors say workers are a tiny minority, I do not know who is the tiny minority between the political class and the working class.

“The political class are the tiny minority because they cannot say that our workers, including the police, the armed forces, which without
them they cannot sleep with their eyes closed, are the minority.”

Wabba decried the situation where the nation had more than 25 salary structures for the same system “when what should rather be operational was the principle of equal pay for equal productivity.

“Our compensation process should be a process that can stimulate productivity because the two work together. If a worker is not paid
and cannot take care of his or her family and pay school fees, can he or she be productive?”

“With better condition of service and compensation, I will be able to think well, work well and therefore the two must work together.”

Mr Bala Kaigama, the President of Trade Union Congress (TUC) said that the disparity in the salaries and income wages system was
engendered by the NSIWC and was not fair to core civil servants.

He said that it was of great concern to members of the union, adding that there were many salary structures in the public service.

According to him, of all the structures in existence, that which operates in the civil service is the lowest in terms of remuneration,
while other structures are high.

He noted that “it is, therefore, becoming extremely difficult to explain the reasons behind these differences in salary structure, which in most cases short-changed civil servants.

“Recently, the salaries of the police received an upward review and when you look at what is going on at the top echelon, compared
to the top echelon in the civil service, the gap is just too wide.

“You may be surprised to know that in some agencies and parastatals of government, junior officers earn as much as N200,000 per month, while officers in the directorate level in core ministries that supervise these parastatals receive less than that.”

He said that the TUC had produced a memorandum on salary review for the core civil service and had submitted same to Federal Government for necessary action.

Kaigama said that the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council was already involved in implementing the submissions of the memorandum, adding that there was need for the NSIWC to also be involved.

Mr Richard Egbule, the Chairman of NSIWC, said that the role of the commission was essential, as it was set up to examine, streamline and recommend salary scales applicable to each post in the public service.

He said that in the 25 years of its existence, the commission had contributed to adjustments on wages, salary allowances and pensions
in the country.

He, however, explained that many of the commission’s functions relating to income policy guidelines could not operate in today’s deregulated economic space.

This, he said, was because though the commission was established based on the recommendations of the Udoji Commission of 1974, its enabling Act put an end to the Productivity, Prices and Incomes Board (PPIB) Act and transferred its responsibilities to the NSIWC.

“That is why when people talk about the absence of wage policy, they forget that any wage policy that allows non-wage incomes to rove about without check, can be counter-productive,” he stressed.

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FG urged to declare state of emergency on federal roads, Senate tasks

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Disturbed by the deplorable conditions of road networks across the country, the Senate on Tuesday, charged the federal government to declare a state of emergency on all federal roads.
This was as the upper legislative chamber mandated  its Committees on Petroleum (Downstream), Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA and National Planning to investigate the Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency, PPPRA on the non-remittance of five percent user charge pump price of petrol.
Besides, the joint committees were also asked to investigate the non remittance of international vehicle transit charge accruing to FERMA and other established state roads maintenance agency.
These resolutions followed deliberations on a motion sponsored under Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate rule by Senator Geshom Bassey (PDP Cross River South)  who lamented the deplorable state of federal roads in the country.
Presenting the motion, Senator Basset expressed concern that several thousands of lives have been lost to road accidents due to bad and un-motorable roads, while bad portion of roads are safe haven for kidnappers and armed robbers on Nigerian highways.
Supporting the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North) said the state of the federal highways are highly deplorable and that urgent attention is needed especially within this budget cycle to do something drastic to address the situation.
Utazi said “and like you prayed that the PPPRA should release the fund for totally provided for FERMA to do  it’s job.
“Mr President, the raining season is just gradually coming to an end and this is the opportunity for FERMA to go and start rehabilitating our roads so that Nigerians can move freely.
“This period is also the time for harvest and in order to ensure that farmers that are in the hinterland get to the appropriate market to get adequate prices for their goods, we  have to make sure the roads are properly done.
“You also know that because we don’t have the rail lines that should be in place, most of the goods and services that we move from one place to the other are done through trucking and if you continue to do trucking, you know that the life span of any  major federal highway may not last long.
“This is a very important motion moved at the most appropriate time to get the desired attention and I’m standing here lending my support and full weigh to get that being done knowing fully well that those of us from the south east are the major complainants of the bad roads in this country and we hope that we get the desired attention from FERMA if  this motion scales through.”
In his remark, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan said he believe that every part of the country suffers from this problem of deplorable  roads.
He expressed optimism that the  committees mandated to look into the matter will  swing into action and attend to the issue associated with this motion.
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Metro

SAD… Taraba INEC REC is dead

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The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC) in Taraba State, Alhaji Baba Abba Yusuf, is dead.
INEC Secretary, Rose Oriarian-Anthony, said the REC died on Saturday night at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State, where he had been on admission.
She said: “The Independent National Electoral Commission regrets to announce the death of the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Taraba State, Alhaji Baba Abba Yusuf.
“He died last (Saturday) night at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State, where he was on admission for sometime.
He was buried today (Sunday) September 29 2019 at 4pm in Maiduguri.
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Transgender: Sade Adu’s daughter finally becomes a man (PHOTOS)

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Izaak and Mum

Sade’s transgender son has shared a heartfelt message of thanks to the soul singer, as he completes his transition from female to male.

Izaak Theo Adu, born Mickailia ‘Ila’ Adu, has spent the past six months in recovery after undergoing phalloplasty surgery, the reconstructive procedure typically undergone by transgender and non-binary people.

After returning home to his family, Izaak shared a sweet photo of himself hugging Sade, 60, along with a message praising the iconic singer for her unwavering support. In the Instagram post, Izaak wrote: ‘It’s been a long hard road but We did it!! We are coming home!!!! ‘Thank you for staying by my side these past 6 months Mumma. Thank you for fighting with me to complete the man I am. ‘Thank you for your encouragement when things are hard, for the love you give me. The purest heart. I love you so much. Queen of queens ♥️ #mumma #lioness #queen#iloveyou.’

Izaak is Sade’s only child from her former relationship with reggae music producer Bob Morgan.

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