By Uche Amunike
The National Salaries Income Commission (NSIWC) states that it has started the process for Minimum Wage Review.
Speaking, Sunday, through a statement signed and released in Abuja by the NSIWC Head of Public Affairs, Mr Emmanuel Njoku, he explained that the commission already had series of meetings and workshops geared towards conducting a national monitoring of the Minimum Wage Act 2019.
He said that the monitoring was to kick off on January 23 and was expected to help in checking the compliance level of both public and private employers and organisations.
The monitoring team, according to him will also find out if adequate records of wage and conditions of service of employees are kept adequately by employers.
His words: ‘The exercise will enlighten the public and private employers and organisations on the economic benefits in adhering to the payment of the National Minimum Wage. It will also help in obtaining baseline data on remuneration policies and practices of private sector organisations in order to enrich the commission’s data bank on staff compensation’
‘The monitoring exercise will cover the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory,’ he said.
He vituperated that the monitoring team for the minimum wage review will be pulled up from Key stakeholders which include the Ministry of Laborand Employment and Ministry of Finance and National Planning.
The other stakeholders, he said, are the Head of Service of the Federation, Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and National Bureau of Statistics. He made a call on both Federal, State and Local Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, privates sector establishments, labor unions, as well as government owned enterprises to work in tandem with the monitoring officers.
On their part, however, Organised Labor has ruled against the plan by the federal government to monitor the implementation of the National Minimum Wage Act 2019, saying that it is coming too late in the day.
Speaking during an interview with The Guardian Newspaper, the National President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria ( ASCSN), Mr Tommy Okon, simply referred to the monitoring exercise as a political gimmick.
Hear him: ‘Sometimes it baffles us as organised labour when the government comes out with some policies and at the same time embrace the somersault of their policy with gladness. How can you now monitor the implementation of a minimum wage that is almost five years gone?’
‘When we were crying that some state governors are not responding to the minimum wage payment, nothing was done, is it now that they are almost leaving office that you want to go and monitor, what are you monitoring? All these are political gimmicks, they cannot fool us.’
Njoku however, maintained that the exercise will help the commission to be in possession of information that will help the process of the next Minimum Wage Review that will take effect in 2024, according to the 2019 Act.