The Federal Government has attributed the delay in the implementation of the “Consequential Adjustment” of the thirty thousand naira new minimum wage to the unrealistic demands of labour unions.
The Chairman, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Chief Richard Egbule today explained that the current demand of the labour unions would raise the total wage bill too high and that was why government could not accept their proposed salary adjustments.
He explained that Labour is asking for consequential adjustment and that the government in its wisdom had made budgetary provision for an adjustment of N10, 000 across the board for those already earning above N30, 000 per month.
Egbule noted that the unions have however refused this offer, saying that because the increase in minimum wage from 18,000 to N30, 000 was 66 per cent, therefore they want 66 per cent increment across the board. He disclosed that the minimum wage was not raised from N18, 000 to N30, 000 through percentage increase but as a result of consideration of economic factors including ability to pay.
Egbule said that at the last meeting between the Federal Government and the labour unions, the government proposed a 10 per cent increment for level seven to 14 and a 5.5 per cent increase for level 15 to 17. He advised labour to come to a compromise because government had so far been magnanimous in agreeing to increase salaries without any threat of downsizing.