The federal government has attributed the delay in the implementation of the “Consequential Adjustment” of the N30, 000 new minimum wage to the unrealistic demands of labour unions.
Chairman, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Chief Richard Egbule, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday.
Egbule explained that the current demand of the labour unions would raise the total wage bill too high and that was why government could not accept their proposed salary adjustments.
He said, “Labour is asking for consequential adjustment and government in its wisdom had made budgetary provision for an adjustment of N10,000 across the board for those already earning above N30,000 per month.
“However, the unions have refused this offer, saying that because the increase in minimum wage from 18,000 to N30, 000 was 66 per cent, therefore they want 66 percent increment across the board.
“We told them that the minimum wage was not raised from N18, 000 to N30, 000 through percentage increase but as a result of consideration of economic factors including ability to pay.
“However, we said that if they want consequential adjustments in percentage terms, we will use a percentage that when applied will not exceed what has been provided for in the budget.
“Labour is currently stretching out and eating up the time that people could have used in benefiting from the adjustment because the new minimum wage was implemented since April.
“My advice is for labour to accept the terms for now and prepare to fight for the harmonisation of salaries that is coming up.”