While workers are expectant of receiving the newly approved Minimum Wage, there are still some concerns that are yet to be finalized.
Naija News understands that the issue between the Federal Government and Organised Labour in the Public Service on the template to work out the consequential adjustment in wages may delay the implementation of the new National Minimum Wage.
This is even as Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson on behalf of governors under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party promised to comply with the N30,000 minimum wage across board.
President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Comrade Bobboi Kaigama speaking at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, said while the government wants an amount to be fixed across all levels, labour wants the adjustment to be done in percentages.
The immediate past Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige had told The Nation in his last interview as Minister that the government will run into trouble in the implementation of the minimum wage if it carries out the consequential adjustment on percentage basis as the government will not have the money to implement it.
The government has however set up a technical committee made up of representatives and officials of the Public Service Joint Negotiating Council to work out the template for the adjustment from grade level one step two to grade level 17.
Kaigama, who threw his weight behind the call for a universal minimum wage being canvassed by some world leaders at the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference, however assured workers that whenever the template is finalised, government will be obliged to pay arrears of the new wage.
His words: “We are concerned that the templates for the implementation of the new minimum wage are not yet out.
“It is one thing to sign the law proscribing minimum wage and another is implementations because there are two bodies in charge of negotiations.
“But as soon as we finish this last leg, the effective date of the law is the day the President signed the bill into law.
“Be rest assured that all employers of labour in Nigeria will have to pay for arrears. The President gave us one month to sort this out.
“But after setting up the technical committee, we discovered that there are hitches.
“So we decided to go back and prepare some scenarios, then back and look at them before agreeing on one which will cut across all levels in the service.
“Government is of the opinion that we fix an amount across, but we believe that is not scientific.
“We believe we should take a percentage and even if that means you have to stagger it.
“We are preparing scenarios and at the end of the day, we hope to arrive at something.”