Chris Ngige, the minister of labour and employment, says some state
governments are not proactive in preparation for payment of the new
minimum wage once negotiations are finalized.

He also revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the
relevant government officials and agencies to expedite action on the
Consequential Adjustment Negotiations on Minimum Wage.

He also approved the constitution of the Presidential Committee on
Salaries and Allowances to handle all requests after the conclusion of
Consequential Adjustment Negotiations.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, disclosed this when
the Labour Correspondents Association of Nigeria paid him a courtesy

Ngige said: “My department of the inspectorate, as well as employment
and wage, are going to do more. We are going to fund them so that we
can start full factory inspection and make sure that nobody is
underemployed and that those in employment get what they deserve in
the world of work, so they can have decent work.

“Part of it is the new minimum wage, which the president signed in
April. It is a pity that after signing it, May came and a lot of us
were sent on compulsory leave. We are now coming back from leave. If
you remember, a committee was set up and I was a member.

“When we left, the permanent secretary took our place and were
negotiating with the joint negotiating council on the consequential
adjustment. The states are waiting for that and it is not proper for
us not to fast-track that negotiation so that even the states will not
have too much backlog to pay when the consequential adjustment is

“We have our own budgeted for in the 2019 budget and we are going to
also budget for it in the 2020 budget. We are concerned about the
states because some of the states are not proactive like us.

“So, the sooner we conclude at the federal level and the joint
negotiating councils in the states take it from there and negotiate
with the states the better for everybody. If it spills this into next
year, I am not sure how many states will be able to pay the backlog
which will lead us to another round of negotiation.”

Ngige added, “It is the determination of the president and this
administration to fast-track the negotiation on consequential
adjustment. I have just received a correspondence from the chief of
staff to the president and we are putting a deadline to that

“We are fast-tracking it because the government will also want to put
in place a presidential committee on salaries and allowances that will
be able to take request after this consequential adjustment."

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