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Minimum wage: 15 months after, 11 states yet to respond

It has been over a year since the N30,000 new minimum wage took effect in Nigeria, yet no fewer than 11 states are yet to begin implementation, while three states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, are implementing partially.

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the N30,000 new National Minimum Wage Act into law, on April 18, 2019 effectively, thus repealing the Minimum Wage Act of 2011.

While the Federal Government started implementing the new wage after negotiating and agreeing on the consequential adjustment with organised labour in October, labour had issued a December 31, 2019 deadline to states to end all discussions and agreements for implementation or face nationwide industrial unrest.

Fifteen months after the new minimum wage became law, the states that are yet to commence implementation are Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Ekiti, Kogi, Plateau, Imo, Nasarawa, Osun and Taraba.

Besides FCT, other states that are implementing partially are Bauchi, Oyo, Yobe and Kebbi.

Also, in Anambra State, negotiation, according to checks, was concluded and signed on January 24, 2020, but the government is yet to commence implementation of the new wage as signed with organised labour.

Them minimum wage committee in Akwa Ibom State has concluded its assignment and agreed to adopt the percentages used by the Federal Government’s consequential adjustment in December with a clause to discuss other grey areas within a month. This has not been done.

For Ekiti State, the implementation for the new minimum wage for levels 1 to 6 was considered since October 2019, but till date, nothing has happened.

Similarly, while Kogi State is yet to implement the new minimum wage, it has slashed salaries of its workers, blaming dwindling allocations from Federal Government to states.

For Bauchi, the state is implementing the new wage for levels 1 to 6 but negotiation for the implementation of the wage for levels 7 and above had been suspended.

In the same vein, while the government of Kebbi State has been implementing the new wage for levels 1 to 16, excluding the council workers, it added N7,000 to the salary of senior civil servants without recourse to labour and has refused to negotiate on the consequential adjustment for levels 7 and above.

Similarly, Oyo State is implementing the new minimum wage for its core civil servants, but yet to commence implementation for non-core civil servants, especially workers of ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs.

Also, Yobe State is implementing for workers between levels 1 and 6, and has equally awarded N7000 unilaterally to workers on levels 7 to 14 without recourse to labour.

Meanwhile, leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, are meeting today to address the issue of implementation of the new minimum wage and other sundry workers’ welfare issues, with a view to responding appropriately.

About the author

Chukwuma Obiasia

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