Buhari directs Ngige to expedite action on new minimum wage negotiation

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige to expedite action on negotiation with the organised labour on the new N30,000 minimum wage consequential adjustment.

He gave the directive on Friday night at the 2019 Nigeria Civil Service Week celebration dinner and award night held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.

Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Dr Tukur Ngawa, said there was the urgent need to conclude the negotiation to allow for full implementation of the New Minimum Wage Act recently signed into law.

The negotiation between the Federal Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on the consequential adjustment on the earnings of the Federal workers as a result of the passage into law of the new N30,000 minimum wage had ended in a stalemate.

However, Dr Ngige who has had several meetings with the leadership of NLC on how to resolve the logjam, declared on Thursday last week that he would meet with President Buhari over the stalemate as soon the President returns from his trip to New York.

But the President Buhari in his address read by Ngawa at the Nigeria Civil Service Week celebration dinner and award night directed the Minister to expedite action on the negotiation with the NLC.

He said: “I wish to direct the honourable Minister of Labour and Employment to expedite action on the consequential adjustment negotiation of Minimum Wage. We have also approved the constitution of the Presidential Committee on salaries and allowances for the civil servants.”

He expressed the unflinching commitment of his administration to provide robust welfare package for all civil servants, saying this necessitated the signing into law the new National Minimum Wage Act.

He noted the celebration was very significant in view of the fact that civil service is the machinery through which the policies and programmes of government are implemented, adding that there was the need to recognise hard work and creativity.

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Buhari said his administration was conscious of the mandate to provide virile and vibrant government programmes and to ensure that the civil service is properly positioned to ensure effective and efficient delivery of service to Nigerians.

“We must, therefore, resolve to work together as a team in order to implement these policies, which among others, are targeted at creating jobs for the teeming youth population, instilling discipline and accountability and ensuring healthy growth of the economy and infrastructural development as well as the renewed commitment to fight corruption,” he said.

The President noted that there was an urgent need to promote economic diversification and improve the non-oil export in the face of global economic realities so as to stimulate the Nigerian economy.

He said the current administration was committed to make in Nigeria initiative with the view to increasing demand for locally manufactured goods and services.

He said the benefits for the government supporting local content in public procurement which would strengthen the naira, create jobs and improve entrepreneurial capacity leading to greater competition among local manufacturers and service providers could not be over-emphasised.

Buhari said the government was also providing affordable housing to civil servants through the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and the Federal Housing & Loans Board under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme.

He commended the Office Head of Civil Service of the Federation for the laudable reforms initiated for the transformation of the Federal Civil Service.

He charged the civil servants to be innovative so as to develop and implement strategic programmes for accelerated development of the country.

He congratulated all the awardees, saying they deserved to be honoured for their faithful service the country urging them not rest of their oars in ensuring effective service delivery to the nation.

Acting Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan, in her remark, said about 86 workers including some retired Permanent Secretaries were honoured with various categories of awards at the event in recognition of their exceptional level of commitment and outstanding performance in the discharge of duties.

She maintained that the civil service must continue to evolve new ideas and innovation in order to remain relevant in the scheme of things.

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