Buhari to increase workers’ salary – Ngige

Chris Ngige, the minister of labour, employment and productivity, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration plans to increase workers’ salary.

Ngige, on Tuesday, said that the planned salary increase aimed at cushioning the effect of rising inflation.

He said, the “Presidential Committee on Salaries is already reviewing the salary structures and is expected to come up with salary adjustment in the New Year”.

The minister added that the committee and the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission are working to achieve it.

“As we enter the New Year, the government will make some pronouncements in that direction.”

In the same vein, Ngige said the protracted dispute between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government is pending before the court.

ASUU had called off its eight-month strike following a court ruling. But the government insists it would not pay salaries of the university lecturers for the period of their industrial dispute.

On this, the minister said, “For now, the matter is in court for proper interpretation of the Trade Dispute Act as it concerns no work, no pay policy invoked by the government during the strike period.

“ASUU has not pronounced anything on their salaries anymore because it’s one of the issues that was referred to the National Industrial Court (NIC) for determination, whether a worker who is on strike should be paid in violation of section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act which says when you go on strike, the consequences are these: number one, you will not be paid, you will not be compensated for not going to work to enable your employer keep the industry or enterprise afloat.

“That money should not be given to you, and that compensation should not be given. It’s there in Section 43 (1). There is a second leg to Section 43, it also said that that period you were on strike will not count for you as part of your pensionable period of work in your service. That leg, government has not touched it, but the leg of no-work-no-pay has been triggered off by that strike.”

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