Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has revealed the Federal Government may be forced to lay off some civil servants.
Speaking on the necessity to reduce the federal staff, Ngige told labour leaders in Abuja that a total of N580 billion is needed to meet labour’s demand on the new minimum wage.
Ngige also revealed that the Federal Government has been avoiding a situation where it would have to sack workers, noting that throwing workers into unemployment would add to their burden.
The minister pleaded with labour to accept the consequential adjustment from levels 7 to 17, adding that the government had only three months left to implement the new wage.
He stated that the government would not promise labour what it could not pay, noting that no worker deserved to be owed salary.
He restated that implementation of the new wage had since commenced for workers on grade level 1 to 6, adding that the development had helped those on the lower cadre in the civil service to move up.
Naija News recalls that the government had told labour unions that it could only pay 9.5 percent salary raise for employees on grade levels 07 to14 and five percent for those on grade levels 15 to17. But labour is demanding a 30 percent raise for officers on grade levels 07 to 14 and 25 percent for those on grade levels 15-17.
Public sector workers in Nigeria receive some of the lowest pay cheques in the world, although political office holders receive fat salaries, according to analysts.
It will be recalled that the organized labour has given the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari two weeks to commence the implementation of the new national minimum wage or risks a nationwide industrial action.