Threat by organised labour to down tools over government’s inability to pay the new minimum wage across board has gotten the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari supporters. Thus they have urged labour to tread softly and not to take any rash action over consequential increment for senior staff in the new minimum wage implementation.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) gave this advice even as it commended President Buhari for his genuine commitment to taking the new national minimum wage issue to a positive conclusion.
The organisation said in a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsuji and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke that President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated sincere commitment over the minimum wage by signing the enabling Act without delay.
“The President has equally directed the implementation of the initial stage of the new minimum wage which is already being paid to junior staff in the federal public service, while the government will reconstitute the Tripartite Committee to find an amicable solution to the issue of consequential pay for senior civil servants”.
BMO noted that while labour wants 29 percent as consequential increment for senior staff on GL07-14 and 24 percent for staff on SGL 15 -17, the government is suggesting 11 percent for those on SGL 07-14 and 6.5 percent for those on SGL 15 -17 respectively.
The position of the Government is informed by the huge responsibility of managing conflicting demands in the areas of security, infrastructure development, education and care for internally displaced persons, among others.
BMO reminds Nigerians, and organised labour, of the inadequate revenue, huge recurrent expenditure on salaries and pension which constitute a serious financial challenge despite continuing efforts to block leakages in the system.
BMO recalls “with appreciation” the resolution by both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to list President Muhammadu Buhari as a ‘friend of labour’ because of his openness to labour and accommodation of its reasonable demands and recommendation which promote industrial peace in the country.
The Buhari Media Organisation urged the labour movements to continue on this path of dialogue for a sustainable industrial peace that benefits everybody.