At a meeting which started around 7 pm on Thursday and ended after 2 am on Friday, the Federal Government and organised labour reached an agreement on the implementation of the new minimum wage.
After 3 days of talks that ran through nights and ended in the early hours of the morning, both sides finally agreed on the percentage increase for grade levels seven to 17.
The adjustments for the various wages structures were decided as follows:
COMESS wage structure
Grade level seven= 23 percent, level 8=20 percent, level 9=19 percent, level 10 -14 = 16 percent, level 15-17=14 percent.
CONHES, CONRRISE, CONTISS, etc
Level 7= 22.2 percent
Level 8-14 = 16 percent
Level 15-17 = 10.5 percent
The meeting also increased the salaries of military and paramilitary officers, but the percentages were kept confidential.
According to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, the details of the increase will be communicated to the military and paramilitary organisations through the appropriate channels.
Dr Ngige expects the adjustments to be implemented immediately.
The talks between the Federal Government and labour leaders which started on Monday had helped to prevent workers from embarking on a nationwide industrial action.
After failing to reach an agreement with the government on the full implementation of the new minimum wage, more than five months after it was signed into law, labour issued a two-week ultimatum to the government.
The source of disagreement was the percentage for the consequential wage increase for workers based on the new minimum of N30,000.
Organised labour had initially demanded a 66 percent salary increase for workers on levels seven to 17. It later reduced the percentage downward to 29 percent for levels seven – 14 and 24 percent for levels 15 to 17.
The Federal Government, however, offered to pay 11 percent for workers on grade levels seven to 14 and 6.5 percent for those on levels 15 to 17.
In rejecting the government’s offer, labour leaders argued that the percentages being offered by the government would be ineffective for workers in the light of the currency devaluation, fuel price hike, value-added tax increase and electricity tariff increase all of which occurred in recent years with the minimum wage at N18,000.
Two days to the expiration of the ultimatum, both sides returned to the table, first averting a strike and coming to a compromise for the full implementation of the new minimum wage.
Social Media Bill Passes Second Reading In Senate
The Social Media Bill, also known as The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations has passed second reading in the Senate. The bill on Wednesday passed second reading with support by majority of Senators.
This is despite opposition to the proposed legislation by Nigerian citizens who are of the opinion that the bill seeks to fight free speech.
During the debate, only one lawmaker, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani opposed the bill. He argued that there is legislation in the country namely the Cyber Crimes Act which addresses internet falsehood.
The Senate, however directed its committee on judiciary to work on the bill and return in four weeks.
The bill was introduced to the Senate on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
According to the sponsor of the bill, Mohammed Sani Musa, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) representing Niger East Senatorial District, it will regulate the use of social media in Nigeria and curb fake news on the internet.
A similar anti-social media bill introduced by the previous eighth Senate, sparked outrage across the country, and was later withdrawn.
The bill, if passed into law, seeks to prevent falsehoods and manipulations and counter the effects of such communications and transmission to sanction offenders with a view of encouraging and enhancing transparency by social media platforms using the internet correspondences.
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