The Federal Government said plans are in place to implement an improved minimum wage package for civil servants by the second quarter of 2024.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, made this announcement at the Nigeria Labour Congress’ 13th National Delegates’ Conference in Abuja.
The former Anambra state governor said necessary provisions had been implemented to make it a reality.
According to Ngige, plans have been put in place to review and implement a new minimum wage for Nigerian civil servants on or before May 2024.
He maintained that the trade unions have no rights to force the federal government on what decisions to take.
While speaking at the conference, the former Anambra state governor called out organised labour and other trade unions to stop the act of imposing their will on the government.
He stated that the attitude and actions of the trade unions contradicts the statutory codes of the Trade Union Act that mandated that all newly elected trade union officials take required courses at the Michael Imuodu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS)
He stated that this training will give them first hand knowledge and adequate capacity to exercise their responsibilities effectively and also influence their Industrial Relations authorities.
Ngige said, “The good story that filters out from it is that we put out an Act, a legislation that had in place an inbuilt review five years mechanism, unlike the formal Act. So, mandatorily, Nigeria will produce a new minimum wage on or before May 2024.
“It is acknowledged, both nationally and internationally, that government would not interfere in trade union matters and likewise, trade unions are not to interfere in labour administration unless as provided by the laws and principles of tripartism.”
Ngige further reiterated that in his not within the rights of the trade union to dictate to government on the appointment of public officials. He urged the NLC to ensure the implementation of the Employees’ Compensation Act (ECA) 2010 by State Governments.
Ngige said, “This has resulted in many workers not being covered by the ECA Act for injuries and even deaths sustained in the place or course of employment.
“The NLC should remedy this situation as the welfare of workers is one of the cardinal functions of Trade Unions including the Confederations. “In this regard, it should be noted that the PENCOM Act 2014 makes it mandatory for all employers to give Insurance Cover for workers employed by them.”
Similarly, the federal government has announced a plan to increase workers’ salaries in 2023 following a series of industrial actions in 2022.
Ngige, said the increment is to curb the effect of economic challenges posed by inflation on the country.
According to Ngige, the presidential committee on salaries is currently reviewing the wages, and the government will make a pronouncement next year.