- Renames Communication Ministry as Communication and Digital Economy
By Lawrence Olaoye
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has set December 2019 as the target for the government to clear all arrears accruable to workers consequent upon the implementation of the minimum wage policy in the country.
This came as the Council chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday also renamed the Ministry of Communication as Communication and Digital Economy.
The Council also approved the sum of N1.7 billion for the award of contract for the procurement and installation of communications equipment and absolute control contour for control towers in Zaria and Katsina while approving the proposal for the local use of methanol in the country.
Briefing newsmen after the Council meeting, Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, said he presented the report of the reconciliation engagements with the organised Labour last week to the Council which ratified the decisions.
He said “Today we sent to the federal executive council our report and the conciliation that was done last week between the organised labour and the 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 remember that last week when I briefed the press, I told you that the salaries and wage structure are compartmentalized into four classes: Health, Armed forces service, 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 compactmental 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.”
Also at the briefing, the Minister of Communication, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, said the Council approved the memo seeking to rename his ministry as that of Communication and Digital Economy.
This, according to him, became necessary because the world has gone digital. He added that digital technology contributed far more than oil and gas to the nation’s GDP in recent assessment.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the Council approved the sum of N1.7 billion for the procurement and installation of communication equipments and absolute control contour for control towers in Zaria and Katsina.
The completion period for the project, he said, was 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 explained.
Science and Technology Minister, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onuh, said he presented a memo on the utilization of methanol în the nation’s economy.
According to him, the nation would have solve the problem of gas flaring and its consequences on the lives of the people of the Niger Delta by encouraging the conversion of gas to methanol for use in the
“You can use methanol for transportation. All these racing cars that you find – M85, M100 essentially that M is methanol means it’s 85 per cent methanol, 15 per cent gasoline. But for ordinary use, normally the blending will be 15 per cent of methanol so that you don’t have to make any adjustment to your vehicle. Then also, methanol can be used to replace diesel in these trucks that we find in our highways because methanol is cheaper and it is environmentally friendly so that all the problems that are associated with the use of diesel, that can be solved by the use of methanol.
Also, our people in rural areas can use methanol for cooking so that it can replace kerosene because when you use kerosene you have soothes and it creates health problem for you but methanol does not have that; it’s very clean, safe and cheap. It’s one way that we can utilize our gas in our rural areas and it’s going to help us in addressing the issues of deforestation,” he said.