By Emmanuel Obisue
Trade Union Side, TUS of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, JNPSNC, has proposed a living wage of $300 for Nigerian workers, a consideration it said is necessary, given the fall in the value of the Naira.
Comrade Benjamin Anthony, President of the JNPSNC/TUS, made the recommendation on Tuseday in Keffi, Nasarawa State, in his remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the Separate and Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council covered by the Nigerian Pilot.
“The time to review our Minimum Wage has come, in doing this; we must all agree that the current Minimum Wage of #30,000 has since been eroded by high exchange rate coupled with the abrupt removal of fuel subsidy which has translated into high cost of living in the Country.
“There is no gain saying that the cost of a bag of rice is far more than the so called Minimum Wage, and to worsen the situation, Government is not prompt in the payment of the collectively and freely agreed #35,000 Wage award.
“In the light of the above, Labour has proposed a living Wage of $300 for Nigerian Workers. This is due to the fall in the value of our currency, today if you carry #100,000 to the market you will come back with a leather bag of items,” he said.
Speaking in her Keynote Address at the event, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan urged stakeholders at the federal and state levels to continuously collaborate and embrace the principles of collective bargaining and mutual respect at all meetings.
“Distinguished delegates, I implore you all to sustain your commitment in the development of industrial harmony through collaborative efforts by contributing constructively to the issues that will make positive impact in the Public Service. My office will continue to do its best in ensuring that the welfare of workers is given the desired attention.
“At this point, I urge you all to tow the path of dialogue in your engagements with Government, in order to achieve peace and stability towards enhanced productivity in implementing Government Policies. It is my sincere hope that the positive impact of this meeting and subsequent ones will serve to maintain a stable and goal-driven Public Service in the Country,” the HoS who was represented by Dr. Comfort Adeosun, Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office of the OHCSF stated.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Tuesday inaugurated the 37-man Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage. The committee is to recommend a new National Minimum Wage for the country.