By Bukola Adewumi
Civil servants across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have expressed concern over sudden change in September deadline for the implementation of new minimum wage given by the Federal Government.
Some of the Civil servants, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, said it would amount to double standard on the part of the government if it reneged on the September deadline.
Sen. Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, had on May 29, said that the new national minimum wage may not materialise in September as earlier envisaged.
Ngige said that the September date was just a date to conclude negotiation on the issue of minimum wage, saying that the committee was making steady progress on its assignment.
According to him, the committee on the new National Minimum wage is expected to conclude its work by the end of September and present its report to the government for deliberation and approval before an executive bill is sent to the National Assembly on the issue.
Mrs Alice Akinbiyi, a civil servant, said that the Federal Government should endeavour to honour the earlier date scheduled for the take off of the new minimum wage.
She said that the price of goods and services in the country had made it imperative for the implementation, adding that things were beginning to get out of the reach of an average civil servant.
Akinbiyi called on the Federal Government to speed up the process of implementation ahead of September and tighten every loose end that could frustrate the scheduled date.
Malam Ibrahim Musa, also a civil servant, said he was devastated when he heard the news that the September earlier promised by the Federal Government for the implementation may not be feasible again.
He said he was always calculating with the hope that the new minimum wage would be a respite to him.
He called on the Federal Government not to relent in its effort to meet the September deadline.
Miss Dorothy Williams, said that she had no doubt that the Federal Government would keep its promise, adding that the Federal Government would not make an empty promise.
She expressed her disappointed should the Federal Government fail to keep its words.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had earlier made a promise at the 2018 May Day celebration that the Federal Government would expedite action to ensure that a new minimum wage is ready by the third quarter of the year.
Osinbajo noted that the tripartite committee, comprising government, labour, and the private sector, would expedite its assignment, to enable the Federal Government to present an executive bill on a new national minimum wage to the National Assembly for passage into law, as soon as possible.
The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, also at the May Day Lecture, said the union would not allow the Tripartite Committee for National Minimum Wage to alter the September timeline for the implementation of new minimum wage.
This was sequel to the Federal Government’s promise that the implementation of the new national minimum wage for workers would take effect from the third quarter.