The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, yesterday, attributed the delay in the full implementation of the new national minimum wage to the unrealistic demands by labour unions.
Mrs Oyo-Ita, who made this known in Abuja at a two-day retreat for top management staff of her office, however, said negotiations are on between the government and the unions. The retreat on Manpower Development Institutes and Federal Training Centres, was on the 2017-2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP) articulated to drive the transformation of the Nigerian civil service in line with global standard.
Oyo-Ita said the unrealistic demands were put forward by the senior staff unions among the labour leaders in the negotiations.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to implementing the new national minimum wage and that is why the presidential committee on the consequential adjustment arising from the minimum wage has been sitting to deliberate on it.
“And, in fact, has sat with the union leadership within the public service to come out with the consequential adjustment arising from the new minimum wage. There were a few, what I will call unrealistic demands from the unions. So as not to continue delaying the implementation of the policy of Mr. President, we had to go ahead and seek his approval to implement the minimum wage effective from April,” she said.
She explained that the decision was to pave way for the Federal Government to continue with discussions on the consequential adjustment.
Oyo-Ita said the Federal Government would not allow the demands of the senior staff unions to affect those whom the minimum wage was largely meant for, the low income earners. She, however, said the conversation on the controversial issues was still ongoing with all the unions, particularly the senior staff unions.
The Permanent Secretary, Service Policies and Strategies Office, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, while speaking earlier, said the retreat was designed to sensitise top management of the OHCSF on the implementation of 2017-2020 FCSSIP. Ajani said the vision was to reposition Nigeria`s federal public service for better performance in tandem with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020, which charted a new course for the service.