Workers now getting N30,000 wage, says Ngige
JUNIOR workers in the employment of the Federal Government have started receiving the N30,000 minimum wage, Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, said at the weekend.
Ngige, who spoke in Enugu, said the payment to levels 1 to 6 commenced last month.
His claim was corroborated by the National President of the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU) and a member of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council Mr. Lawrence Amaechi.
According to Amaechi, the junior workers received the new wage as their August salary.
The minister dismissed the claim by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) that the Federal Government was reluctant to pay the new minimum wage, which was signed into law in April by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister said the only issue at stake was the executive cadre of Grades level 7 to 17, which required consequential adjustment that is still being negotiated.
Ngige said: “The major hurdle in the minimum wage issue has been crossed. We have crossed the rubicon and the rubicon was getting a new rate for the minimum wage. And the minimum wage is the lowest remuneration paid as compensation to a worker for his services and this is for the least paid worker in Nigeria.
“It is for those on lowest rung of the payment ladder. And in the public service, it is for the workers on Grade Level 1 Step 1. We moved it from N18, 000 as in the old Act to N30, 000. To me, that was the major crossing of the rubicon.
“When you do that, there is what is called consequential adjustment upstairs because you have by moving N18, 000 to N30, 000 crossed some salary grade levels and surpassed them.
“Therefore, you must get those people that you have crossed and passed to a higher level than N30, 000, which the lowest person now is earning. So, that is the history of the consequential adjustment.