Federal Workers Disappointed With New Minimum Wage


Federal Civil Servants today expressed disappointment at the minimum wage recently approved by the government, describing the increment as a “ruse.”

The workers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos said that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had “sold-out” on the wage negotiation.

According to the workers, the labour leaders have lost the workers’ confidence as credible representative of the Nigerian working class.

“When I heard that the increment in my salary is just about N900, I wondered what all the initial fuss was about, its all a ruse,” Chuka Moses, a Federal civil servant, told NAN in Lagos.

Mrs. Aina Salami, a civil servant, described the new minimum wage as “unbelievable and embarrassing.”

She added the new wage regime would not improve the welfare of most civil servants, whose new take home pay only reflected an increase of N900.

“I am not happy. We thought that the minimum wage will enhance our salary but there is not much change,” she said.

Another civil servant, Mr. Tony Animashaun, said that the new wage failed to bridge the gap between workers in the core civil service and other parastatal agencies.

“I feel sad. The new minimum wage signed by the organised labour did not enhance my take home pay. The prices of food, goods and services have increased because of the announcement of the new wage,” he said.

Nonso Emmanuel, a staff of National Council for Arts and Culture, wondered why the salary of an average Federal Government worker was only increased by a meagre sum of N900 per month in view of the prevailing economic situation.

Another civil servant, Mr. Victor Ahuma, said that the meagre increment was a huge disappointment to many Federal Government workers who had expected so much from the government.

“The prices of foodstuff, house rent and children’s school fees have all gone up since government’s announcement of the approval of the N18,000 minimum wage,” Ahuma said.

Mrs. Edwina Osuji, of the National Museum, Lagos said that “no one would believe that workers’ prolonged agitation was only for N900 salary increase.”

For Mr. Henry Ndubisi, a former trade unionist at the National Theatre, this development had reduced workers’ confidence in labour unions as credible representatives of the Nigerian workers.

According to Ndubisi, this is the first time the hierarchical system of grade levels would be neglected in salary increment, adding that “a flat rate of N900 was added to the monthly salary of workers from Grade Level six to 17.”

He advised labour leaders to revisit their negotiation with the government in order to regain workers’ confidence in their representations.

“It’s really strange that there will be no significant increase to my salary,” said another civil servant, Mr. Moshood Kuku.

Mr. Musa Kabir, of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), said government disappointed workers on the new minimum wage, considering the huge amount spent on political office holders.

“The N900 has no effect at all because market prices have increased drastically in anticipation of the new minimum wage,” he said.

However, Mr. Solomon Onaghinon, Secretary General of the Association of Senior Civil Servants, said that it was regrettable that the minimum wage had failed to bridge the gap in the salary of civil servants and other parastatal agencies.

He blamed the National Salary and Wages Commission for drawing a chart that de-listed the core civil servants from getting an appropriate fund from the new wage.

NAN reports that the JNPSNC in 2010 reached an agreement with the government to pay about 53.3 per cent increase in the salaries of civil servants to solve the relativity problem with other parastatal bodies.

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