Hopes of Civil servants in Rivers State enjoying the new minimum wage increase with Christmas packages maybe dashed as the state government is about constituting the panel to negotiate the consequential adjustment.
The federal government had in October signed the lingering new minimum wage consequential adjustment into law with an order to state governors to do same.
In Rivers state the Chairperson of the Nigeria labor congress, Beatrice ITUBO told Eastwest reporters that state government was only able to meet with labor a week ago and the meetings are on-going and would continue during and after the holidays
‘’ I don’t like to tell workers what is not and we don’t build our hopes in castle. I told workers the truth which is that we had sent a letter to the state government on the need to establish a negotiating committee some weeks back “They (state government) have not set up the negotiation team for the minimum wage. The NLC (at the national level) has already given an ultimatum. Like I said earlier; we have sent a letter to them but sometimes ago “The SSG called and asked for those who are supposed to be in the committee, which we have told them. It was last week that government called us for a meeting.
We as a labour center had closed for the year but the governor called us for a meeting and we are going for the meeting to discuss with government on the consequential adjustment from Monday to Friday this week.
Hopefully by next year the negotiations would have been concluded.
EWR- so will Rivers State Government Pay More Than 30.000 Naira?
Beatrice — This is consequent upon the directives by organized labour to all state governors to conclude negotiation on the implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage and the consequential adjustment on or before December 31.
Our inaugural negotiation meeting would hold today to discuss amount payable to workers of the state we are only saying that Rivers state has a peculiar living standard status and would appeal to the state governors to pay above the approved #30,000 to enable workers meet with financial obligation
She said we are asking that the governor emulate her counterpart in Lagos which is proposing a #35,000 minimum pay. ‘’ what we are asking is minimum pay remember there’s nothing like maximum pay, because we go to the same market with the oil worker, the least accommodation in port Harcourt is between 180.000 naira to 200,000 for self-contain apartment, while in other places there accommodations is as low as 40,000 naira per annum.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Kayode Fayemi, says a review of the revenue sharing formula is still the position of the governors to enable them implement the new National Minimum Wage without hitches.
The state chairperson of NLC Beatrice ITUBO, also appealed to workers to maintain positive attitude as labor will ensure that the minimum wage will come into stream with the January 2020 salary package noting that it’s an assurance from the labour leaders.
Recall that Mr Fayemi after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday promised that no state would pay less than N30,000 as minimum wage.
He said the agitation for the review of the revenue sharing formula by the governors’ forum dated right from the administration of the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo.
“We feel that it’s time for the revenue sharing formula to change and we have made a representation to the President and Commander-in-Chief not just under the Buhari administration.
” This has been an ongoing agitation that started way back since the time of President Olusegun Obasanjo it continued on the President Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan.
” So, it’s not just something that has been brought out under President Buhari,” he said.
The governor revealed that already the forum had presented its position on the proposed review of the revenue sharing formula to Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) for possible consideration.
He said ‘’You also know that there is a process to this. The process is that the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, which has the responsibility for this would do its own due diligence, consult widely with critical stakeholders.
” We have also made available our own representation to RMAFC.
‘’Every state has a representative at RMAFC as you know and only last week, RMAFC held a retreat on this and other matters and I believe they will communicate the position. ”Now that we have a full-fledged RMAFC in place with a Chairman and other members appointed, it is our expectation that this would be taken up by RMAFC with Mr. President in a manner that we have taken it up.
” Whether that would affect negotiation for the minimum wage, I can tell you now. Minimum wage is a law. ‘’But as I have always said to you, a national minimum wage act is not a general minimum wage review. They are two separate things.”
The governor, however, stated that the consequential adjustment may not necessarily end up being the same among the States. ‘’Some of us have started paying N30, 000 as you may be aware, others want negotiations on the consequential adjustment to end before they start paying the minimum wage.