The Nigerian government said on Tuesday that a review of the current N30,000 minimum salary has begun.
A new minimum wage should be ready at the latest by May of next year, according to Chris Ngige, the minister of labor and employment, who spoke to workers at the 13th quadrennial delegates conference of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja.
The Nigerian government denied rumors that it would be reviewing civil servant wages last year, and the labor minister later clarified that only a few odd allowances, not salary, would be subject to revision.
Ngige issued a warning to trade unions on Tuesday not to interfere with government business or try to influence appointment decisions.
He also accused trade unions of violating the terms of the Trade Union Act which mandated that all newly elected Trade Union Officials take the required courses at the Michael Imuodu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) for necessary knowledge and develop into seasoned Industrial Relations authorities.
He said: “The good stories that filter out from the Trade Union Act are that we put out an Act, a legislation, that had in place an inbuilt review five years mechanism, unlike the former Act. So mandatorily, Nigeria will produce a new minimum wage on or before May, 2024.
“It is acknowledged both nationally and internationally that government would not interfere in trade union matters and likewise, Trade Unions are not to interfere in Labour Administration unless as provided by the laws and principles of tripartism.
“Trade Unions are not mandated to dictate to the Government on appointment of Public Officials such as Permanent Secretaries, Director Generals, Director, etc. as such appointments are within the purview of Government functionalities. How will a trade union fare if the Government starts dictating on who and how they elect their executives.
“Non-Reportage has been a bane on sincerely conducted social dialogue and negotiations as the majority of the workers’ population are left with no information, under-information and most often misinformation.
“At this point, I enjoin the Confederation of Trade Unions’ leaderships to always be bold to inform the affiliates of the true state of Labour Laws even when it is not in their favour. It will help in avoiding mistakes and mis-steps.”