Minimum Wage: NECA Begs FG to Pay Junior Civil Servants

UnemploymentWorkers smooth down the welded joints for railroad suspension parts in Columbus, Ohio. Photographer: Ty Wright
  • Minimum Wage: NECA Begs FG to Pay Junior Civil Servants

The Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has pleaded with the Federal Government to commence payment of the national minimum wage to junior workers pending when contending parties will reach a consensus on the matter.

Director-General, NECA, Mr Timothy Olawale said junior workers must not be left to suffer from the disagreement between the Federal Government and the Labour Union on the minimum wage payment.

The Federal government had earlier in July, proposed 10 per cent increase for levels 7 to 14 and 5.5 per cent increment for level 15 to 17 civil servants but the proposal was rejected by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). The Union insisted on a 30 per cent increment for civil servants on level 7-14 and 25 per cent for levels 15 to 17.

“If the two parties cannot reach a decision, the government should go ahead and implement minimum wage payment to junior staff. Then, whenever they reach an agreement, the difference can be paid to those concerned.

“Even the Bible says delayed expectation makes the heart weary. God forbid, some of them may start losing their lives because of the difficulty in surviving the harsh economy.

“So let them implement for the junior staff and continue to pay the salaries of the senior staff regularly until they agree. They should not use their own to stall the benefit of the junior staff,” he said.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, has however said that the union would accept whatever decision is reached by the negotiating council. He urged both parties involved to be considerate in their decisions in other to reach a level playing field.

“NECA is advising the two parties that negotiation can only succeed when there is a spirit of give and take. In other words, you must not be stuck in your position; you must move and make concessions here and there, especially because of those workers on the lower rung of the career ladder who have been expecting this minimum wage for the past two years.

“The minimum wage was signed into law since April and we are now in September. I think common sense should prevail on both parties to meet at a point and ensure that they implement, especially for the sake of the junior workers and for senior staff,” he said.

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