The federal government has inaugurated a committee to negotiate with public servants the consequential adjustment in salaries arising from the implementation of the new national minimum wage.
The secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who conducted the exercise in his office in Abuja yesterday, recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari from his first day in office in 2015, expressed serious interest in the welfare of workers.
Mustapha said that Buhari believes that if the government would succeed in its fight against corruption, the workers must be adequately remunerated.
According to him, it was in fulfilment of the president's commitment to issues concerning the welfare of the workers that he inaugurated the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage on November 27, 2017.
He noted that Buhari at the committee's inauguration acknowledged that the Nigerian workers, like their counterparts worldwide, remain critical to the growth and development of modern nations. This, he added, underscores the need to ensure a fair and decent living wage for them, anchored on the principle of social justice and equity.
Mustapha further stated that the Tripartite Committee no doubt was painstaking in its assignment, stressing that its members met with various stakeholders and interest groups, visited most parts of the country, holistically considered the state of the economy and finally came up with its recommendation of N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.
As a further demonstration of the president's unwavering commitment to the welfare of the workers, Mustapha said that Buhari signed into law the new National Minimum Wage Bill which recommended N30,000.
He said that it must, therefore, be acknowledged that the outcome of the Tripartite Committee's assignment was part of the reasons for the inauguration of the salary adjustment committee yesterday.
Mustapha stated: "The president, out of a sense of fiscal responsibility and in seeking to use the budget as a tool for economic development, considered it necessary to appoint a Presidential Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) to advise on revenue optimisation and a seamless implementation of the new wage and its consequential cost.
"I must add that Mr. President emphasised to the technical advisory committee to evolve ways of sustaining the new minimum wage in a manner that would guarantee all existing jobs. The committee has also completed its assignment and submitted its report.
"It is important to reiterate the president's remarks at the signing of the new National Minimum Wage Act, 2019 that it would pave the way for the constitution of another committee to negotiate the issue of relativity/consequential adjustment arising from the new National Minimum Wage of N30,000 with the relevant labour unions. The purpose of this gathering is therefore to achieve that objective," he said.
The SGF said that on the side of the trade unions, 10 representatives had been nominated by the Joint National Public Service Negotiation Council as members of the committee.
According to him, the primary mandate of the committee will be to negotiate the consequential adjustment in salaries arising from the new national minimum wage.
"I have no doubt in my mind that you have abundant literature, reports and other materials to help this assignment. The duration of the assignment is four clear weeks from this inauguration," he said.