FG, labour reach agreement on minimum wage

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After hours of intense negotiations, the Federal government and the labour unions have reached a deal on the implementation modalities for the new minimum wage.

The government and labour unions had disagreements over the new minimum wage law signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in April, making the country’s workforce threaten to go on strike.

Specifically, the disagreements centred on relativity and adjustments of salaries for different categories of workers.

The Nigerian government on May 14 inaugurated relativity and consequential adjustment committee, which set up a technical subcommittee to work out a template for the adjustment of salaries of public service employees in line with the minimum wage law.

However, there was an agreement early Friday morning in Abuja shortly after a meeting between government team led by labour and employment minister Chris Ngige and labour unions.

The meeting, which began at 8:24 pm on Thursday, ended at 3 am on Friday.

After the five-hour meeting, Ngige announced the minimum wage implementation model.

“For COMESS wage structure Grade level 7 gets 23 per cent, Salary grade level 8 gets 20 per cent, Salary grade level 9 gets 19 per cent Salary grade level 10 -14 gets 16 per cent while Salary grade level 15-17 gets 14 per cent

”For those on the second category of wages structure, CONHES, CONRRISE, CONTISS etc, Level 7 gets 22.2 per cent, Level 8-14 gets 16 per cent, Level 15-17 gets 10.5 per cent,” Ngige said.

He said the third category of the country’s wage structure which is military and paramilitary officers were also factored in the agreement.

“Since they are not in the civil service, theirs will be communicated through the appropriate channels. Their percentage of increase is confidential,” Ngige said.

Prior to the agreement, labour unions demanded a 29 per cent salary increase for officers on salary level 07 to 14, and 24 per cent adjustment for officers on salary grade level 15 to 17.

But the federal government offered 11 per cent salary increase for officers on grade level 07 to 14, and 6.5 per cent adjustment for workers on grade level 15 to 17.

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