…NLC insists on April 2019 take off date, Government insists on January 2020 as included in 2020 budget
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Rivers government and the Organized Labour may be heading for a collision next week as Comrade Beatrice Ituboh, Chairperson of the Rivers branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has denied reaching any agreement with the state as regards the payment of N30,000 minimum wage.
Ituboh made the denial on Friday while responding to an inquiry by Nigeria info fm 92.3 Port Harcourt if agreement had been reached to receive the N30,000 minimum wage and to state the details of the agreement as alluded to by the Government press statement signed and released by Paulinus Nsirim, Commissioner for Information and Communications on Thursday evening.
According to the Government announcement the state “Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has graciously approved the payment of the minimum wage of N30,000 monthly salary for employees of the Rivers State Public Service with the consequential salary adjustments as approved by the Federal Government.”.
Beatrice Ituboh asserted that no agreement had been signed with the state government as regards the new minimum wage.
She told the radio station that she was surprised that state Government made the announcement about the approval last night.
She accused Governor Wike of trying to ambush the workers who are planning a showdown next week over the inability to reach a middle ground with the state of government.
It would be recalled that the statement announcing Wike’s approval of N30,000 minimum wage was silent on the commencement date for the payment or if arrears will be paid to workers.
Our correspondent learnt that while the organized Labour in the state are bargaining for the commencement date of payment to take effect from April 2019 when the President Muhammadu Buhari signed the National Minimum Wage Bill into Law, the state government included it the 2020 budget with expectation that the payment will begin this January.