No fewer than 10 states have expressed readiness to commence the implementation of the N30, 000 national minimum wage.
Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) President, Ayuba Wabba, who appeared on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme on Monday, said the ten states met the December 31, 2019 deadline set by organised labour.
Already, workers in Lagos and Kaduna, along with those at the Federal level, have started enjoying the new minimum wage.
The states, which have concluded discussions on consequential adjustments, according to NLC are: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos and Ebonyi.
Organised labour had on December 11, 2019 at a meeting with its state chairmen in Abuja, set December 31 of the same year for all state governors to conclude negotiations with workers in their states following an agreement with the Federal Government on October 18, 2019.
President Buhari had in April 2019 signed the new wage bill aimed at boosting the morale of the Nigerian workers into law.
On October 18, 2019 after about six months of negotiations, the Federal Government reached an agreement with organised labour on the consequential adjustments after a lengthy negotiation process that dragged for months.
The federal government and organised labour agreed on per cent increase of 23.2 for workers on level seven and 20 per cent for workers on level eight, while it agreed on 19 per cent increase for workers on level nine.
Also, both the federal government and organised labour reached an agreement on 16 per cent salary increase for workers on level 10- 14 and 14 per cent increase for workers on level 15-17.
Wabba said about 23 states were still on the discussion table with labour leaders in their states on consequential adjustments.
He insisted that state governor do not have any reason not to pay the N30,000 minimum wage.
According to Wabba, the new wage is binding on all states following Buhari’s assent.
He said: “We are actually on tract. The Federal Government has set the pace. They have been able to meet up with all the obligations, including payment of arrears. Let us also not lose sight of the fact that from the day the President assented to the bill, it becomes a law. Therefore, states have no reason not to respect a law that had been enacted.
“So far so good, we have about ten states that have concluded the process of collective bargaining and some have commenced payment. They are in three categories. First are the states that have respected the deadline (December 31). They are Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos and Ebonyi.
“We have those (states) that are still on the table and they have until yesterday (January 5) to complete the process. This constitutes about 23 states that are on the discussion table and we have seen commitments.
“We insist on the process of collective bargaining because we don’t want an allocation of peanuts to workers. The principle of collective bargaining is enshrined in international law that workers should be able to know what they will be paid because the N30, 000 is already a law. What we are discussing is the consequential adjustment.
“That is why the unions are interested in looking at the details before they sign. Some (states) will want to pay peanut and that is what we are trying to avoid.”
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