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FG to Sanction NNPC, FIRS, and Others For Backdoor Recruitment



Jobless Claims

The federal government has disclosed that it will sanction the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) among other MDA involved in backdoor recruitment. 

Investors King learnt that other big agencies alleged to have engaged in backdoor recruitment include the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). 

The numerous recruitments are done despite the embargo put in place by the office of the head of civil service.

Investigations showed that while some agencies issued employment letters to jobseekers without recourse to the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and the Federal Civil Service Commission, others simply replaced retired or dead officials with friends and family members.

It could be recalled that in 2019, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was reported to have employed many individuals without following the due recruitment process. This secret recruitment received condemnation from far and wide including from pressure and regional groups. 

One of the pressure groups, the Niger Delta Youth Consort of Nigeria protested against the NNPC for excluding the region and southerners in the secret recruitment.

Although NNPC denied the secret recruitment claiming that what the company did was fill the vacancies with personnel who were already in the system and were qualified rather than recruiting fresh ones from outside the system.

In the same vein, the Federal Inland Revenue Service was also enmeshed in a recruitment scandal in 2021 after it emerged that it secretly engaged 2,000 workers, a development that put a strain on its budget.

This was made known through a petition written to the Chairman of FIRS, Muhammed Namu by the Nigerian Civil Service Union.

On its part, the Nigeria Customs Service denied engaging in secret recruitment, stating that all its recruitment are often published, however, there has been an issue of lopsidedness in many of the recruitment made by the service with a significant advantage to the northern part of the country. 

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Minimum Wage Negotiations to Restart, Government Considers Revision




After a dramatic walkout by labour leaders following the Federal Government’s proposal of N48,000 as the new national minimum wage, negotiations are set to resume with indications that the government might reconsider its stance.

The Chairman of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage, Alhaji Bukar Goni, conveyed this possibility in a letter inviting labour leaders back to the negotiation table.

The letter, dated May 16, 2024, highlighted the government’s willingness to shift its position on the proposed minimum wage.

The walkout occurred 24 hours after the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) leaders left the negotiation committee in protest against the government’s offer.

The organised private sector had initially proposed an offer of N54,000, which also spurred contention during the talks.

In response to the government’s proposal, the National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, vehemently rejected the offer, insisting on a minimum wage of N615,000.

Ajaero argued that this figure was arrived at after a thorough analysis of the current economic situation and the needs of an average Nigerian family of six.

Blaming both the government and the organised private sector for the breakdown in negotiations, Ajaero expressed disappointment in what he deemed as an inadequate proposal.

He highlighted the disparity between the proposed minimum wage and prevailing standards, asserting that the suggested amount would undermine the economic well-being of workers and their families.

The Director-General of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, criticized the unions’ decision to walk out, labeling it as unfortunate.

He urged union leaders to reconsider their position and return to the negotiation table in the interest of their members and national development.

In response to the criticism, Ajaero defended the unions’ actions, emphasizing that the proposed N48,000 as the minimum wage insulted the sensibilities of Nigerian workers.

He accused the government of failing to provide substantiated data to support its offer, further undermining the credibility of the negotiation process.

Amidst the ongoing dispute, Goni’s letter invited labour leaders to resume negotiations, assuring them of the government’s willingness to reconsider its proposal. The letter underscored the importance of all parties coming together to analyze the tripartite position and make necessary concessions.

The resumption of negotiations holds significance for Nigerian workers, as the current minimum wage of N30,000 is set to expire soon.

The tripartite committee, comprising representatives from the government, private sector, and labour unions, aims to recommend a new national minimum wage that reflects prevailing economic realities and meets the needs of workers across the country.

As labour leaders prepare to return to the negotiation table, hopes are high for a resolution that addresses the concerns of workers while fostering national development and economic prosperity.

The outcome of the resumed negotiations will have far-reaching implications for millions of Nigerian workers and their families.

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Federal Government Tripartite Committee to Discuss Minimum Wage Reports Today



The Federal Government’s tripartite committee on minimum wage is set to convene today in Abuja to discuss the new national minimum wage.

The committee, comprising 37 members, will gather to deliberate on the final reports submitted by various subcommittees tasked with assessing and recommending adjustments to the minimum wage structure.

Among the key agenda items for the meeting, which will be held at the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja, are the consideration of reports on the proposed new minimum wage and the establishment of a subcommittee responsible for drafting the final report to be presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The committee will address issues related to sanctions for wage violations and procedures for reporting such violations. Reports on the survey of the informal sector of the economy conducted in 2023 as well as those from the National Salaries, Income, and Wages Commission (NSIWC), will also be reviewed.

The timing of this meeting holds significance as it comes on the heels of Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha’s announcement during the recent Workers’ Day celebration.

She stated that once approved, the new minimum wage would take effect from May 1, 2024, underscoring the urgency of reaching a consensus.

Amidst these discussions, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has put forward a bold recommendation for a new minimum wage of N615,000.

This figure, according to the NLC, reflects the meticulous calculation of the monthly cost of living for Nigerian workers, factoring in expenses such as food and transportation.

The NLC’s proposal underscores the pressing need to address the economic challenges faced by workers amidst rising production costs, dwindling purchasing power, and elevated exchange rates.

The union’s research, conducted across all states of the federation, aimed to capture the true cost of meeting the primary needs of an average family in Nigeria.

However, the proposed wage increase faces scrutiny, particularly regarding its feasibility and potential economic implications.

Critics question whether such a substantial hike is sustainable and whether it adequately accounts for broader economic factors such as inflation and fiscal constraints.

As the tripartite committee convenes today, stakeholders will engage in robust discussions aimed at striking a balance between the aspirations of workers for improved wages and the imperative of maintaining economic stability.

The outcome of these deliberations will not only shape the livelihoods of millions of Nigerian workers but also influence the trajectory of the nation’s economy in the months and years to come.

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Federal Government Approves 25-35% Pay Rise for Civil Servants on Eve of May Day




The federal government has sanctioned a significant pay increase ranging between 25 and 35 percent, effective from January 1, 2024.

The announcement, made on the eve of May Day, also known as Labour Day, showed government acknowledgment of the contributions and welfare of the nation’s workforce.

The decision comes amidst the culmination of the deliberations of the 37-member tripartite committee on national minimum wage, led by former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Bukar Goni Aji.

Launched in January, the committee’s report is set to be submitted shortly, addressing critical concerns regarding wage structures and standards.

According to Emmanuel Njoku, Head of Press at the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission (NSIWC), the pay increments extend across various consolidated salary structures, encompassing entities such as the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure (CONPSS), Consolidated Research and Allied Institutions Salary Structure (CONRAISS), and others.

The federal government has also approved commensurate pension increases, ranging from 20 to 28 percent, for pensioners enrolled in the Defined Benefits Scheme within these structures.

While the news of the wage hike has been met with anticipation and optimism by some, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed skepticism, dismissing the move as inconsequential.

Chris Onyeka, Assistant General Secretary of the NLC, rebuffed the announcement, stating that the commission lacks the authority to dictate national minimum wage rates.

Onyeka emphasized the need for substantive actions that truly address the concerns of civil servants and the working class.

Despite the NLC’s reservations, the wage increase marks a significant development for government workers grappling with the economic challenges exacerbated by inflation and rising living costs.

The approval signifies the government’s recognition of the imperative to provide adequate remuneration to sustain the livelihoods of its workforce.

In response to inquiries regarding the timing of the announcement, Njoku clarified that there is no wrong time to implement policies beneficial to workers.

He assured that the government would promptly disburse the arrears owed to employees from January onwards.

However, behind the scenes, speculation persists regarding the motives driving the government’s swift action.

Sources within senior government circles hinted that the announcement was preemptive, aimed at forestalling potential unrest during the May Day celebrations.

Concerns over the prospect of organized labor protests prompted government officials to expedite the wage increase, averting potential clashes or disruptions.

In light of these developments, the onus lies on the government to engage constructively with stakeholders to address the broader issues confronting the workforce.

As civil servants welcome the prospect of improved remuneration, the nation awaits further initiatives to enhance the welfare and prosperity of its labor force, underscoring the significance of sustained dialogue and collaboration between the government and labor unions.

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