Organised Labour and the Federal Government, yesterday, finally agreed on percentage increase of the consequential adjustment in workers’ salaries as a result of the new minimum wage of N30, 000.
After three days of horse trading and intense negotiation, both teams finally shifted ground from their earlier positions and agreed on certain percentages.
The Federal Government and organised labour, at the end of the meeting, agreed to percent increase of 23.2 percent for workers on level 7, and 20 percent for workers on level 8, while it agreed on 19 percent increase for workers on level 9.
Also, the government and Organised Labour agreed on 16 percent salary increase for workers on level 10-14 and 14 percent increase for workers on level 15-17.
Earlier, the Federal Government and Organised Labour had failed to reach an agreement on the full implementation of the new minimum wage after it resumed negotiations on the consequential adjustment of salaries for workers Wednesday night.
After about eight hours meeting that began at 5pm on Wednesday and ended at 2am on Thursday, Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, told journalists that both parties have agreed to adjourn the meeting to 7pm, yesterday.
Organised Labour was led into Wednesday’s meeting by the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, President of the Trade Union Congress, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, former president of TUC, Bobboi Kaigama, NLC Deputy President, Comrade Amaechi Asogwuni, Chairman Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, Simon Achaver, NLC’s General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugbaoja, JNPSNC Secretary, Alade Lawal, President of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, Ibrahim Khaleel, and JNPSNC member, Lawrence Amaechi.
The government team had Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi- Esan, Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of State and Employment, Festus Keyamo and the Acting Chairman, National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Ekpo Ntan other government officials.
The minister said that both parties finally agreed on so many areas which they had earlier failed to agree on before calling for the adjournment of the meeting.
He said that assignments have been given to some people on both sides, with the committee expecting a feedback from them.
Like on Tuesday, the meeting broke into sessions twice when the government and labour teams had to leave the general session to meet separately before continuing with the joint session.
On Tuesday, both the Federal Government and organised labour had shifted ground from their initial positions.
The government had agreed to an increase of 17 percent for workers on levels 7 – 9.
While it offered 15 percent increase to workers on levels 10 -14 and 12 percent increase to workers on levels 15-17.
Before the new offer, government had said that it could only offer 6.5 percent increase for workers on levels 15-17 and 11 percent increase for workers on levels 15-17.
While the leadership of organised labour demanded for 25 percent for workers on levels 7- 14 and 20 percent for workers on levels 15-17 during Tuesday’s meeting.
On Wednesday, both parties failed to disclosed details of the areas they had agreed on to journalists.
The minister said: “As you can see, we met and broke into committees, we come back, we finally agreed on so many areas which hitherto we could not agree on and we are adjourning the meeting. We have given assignments to some people on both sides and we will go and do the work and get back to us. The work involved is enormous. We are giving them the entire day to get back to us.
“Issues of money and wage adjustments as per different wage structures; we have about 12 wage structures presently in Nigeria which you know of. We don’t want to make mistakes that could be fatal and thereby put the whole exercise we have done in jeopardy.
“Therefore, we have consensually agreed that we reconvene this meeting at 7pm today. This will enable those that we have given assignments to complete the assignments and bring them back to us.
“We are very okay with the meeting. It is moving on smoothly and as you can see from here there is conviviality, it is very cordial, nobody is fighting. We disagreed about some areas but we have agreed back. That is the important thing. Let the work continue.”
NLC President, Wabba said that some progress had been made but added that an agreement he not been reached.
He aid: “It is the Collective Bargaining Process that has actually lasted this long. Some progress has been made but we have not been able to conclude and then have a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and some committees need to do some computation. You can see that they have worked up to early hours of today. That is in the true spirit of collective bargaining. It is give no take and that is what we are trying to do to get the whole process concluded and put very thing behind all of us.
“In collective bargaining, if a meeting is adjourned, you should know that is not our practice. Our practice is that until we are able to conclude the issues and we are able to inform them (Nigerians) appropriately but not midway when we are making progress. We cannot abruptly disrupt the process. At the appropriate time we should be able to give details.
“We cannot speak on the percentage until we finish the negotiation. The matters under consideration are implementation and consequential adjustment.
“That is mere speculation. We should work on the basis of information that is credible.”
Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity
Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.
It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.
Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.
Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.
Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments
President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.
The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.
According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.
He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.
Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.
The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.
He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.
On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.
He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.
“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.
“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.
“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.
“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.
On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.
On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.
According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.
The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”
Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari
Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.
The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.
Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.
He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.
He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.
“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.
“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.
“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”
He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.
This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.
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