By Ese Awhotu
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, yesterday gave reason why the implementation of the new minimum wage which has been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari was being delayed.
She cited the unrealistic demand from senior civil servants as a major factor fuelling the delay.
Oyo-Ita who spoke to journalists e 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 yesterday, therefore called labour to review its demands.
The HOS said the Federal Government was ommitted to the implementation of the new minimum wage of N30,000.
According to her, “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.”
Recall that, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) last Thursday rejected a policy unveiled by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) on the implementation of the national minimum wage.
The federal government had said that it would start the implementation of the new minimum wage with workers earning below N30, 000 monthly.
The NSIWC circular on the implementation of the policy was signed by the Chairman of the commission, Richard Egbule.
Egbule had said the position of government was that the implementation of the wage would start with workers currently earning below N30, 000, while others would follow after the conclusion of talks on consequential adjustments.
However, in a statement issued in Abuja the President of the TUC, Quadri Olaleye, accused government of playing smart to avert industrial unrest.
Olaleye said the TUC considered the circular as a smart move on the part of government to discourage labour action, stressing that “labour is not fooled.
The TUC statement said organised labour would not be blamed for any consequential action, arising from non-implementation of the minimum wage, adding that, “to be fore warned is to be fore-armed’.”