NEWS

Fuel Subsidy: FG Begins 40% Pay Rise for Workers April Ending.

 

 

The Federal Government will start paying the anticipated wage hike for civil personnel by the end of this month (April), The PUNCH can learn, barring any last-minute changes to the schedule.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, ret., is anticipated to approve the payout with his final signature at any moment.

If the plan is approved, the hike would occur around two months before the June deadline for the termination of the gasoline subsidy.

Officials from the Federal Government exclusively revealed to The Punch that the new pay boost, known as a consequential allowance, would result in a 40% increase in the present pay of government employees.

Olajide Oshundun, the Ministry of Labour and Employment’s Director of Press and Public Relations, revealed in an exclusive interview with The Punch that the Federal Government may start paying the 40% pay increase by the end of April this year. He also said that the three months’ worth of arrears from January, February, and March would be paid at a later time.

Oshundun, however, stated that he was unable to confirm whether the suggestion made by the government committee tasked with the assignment had actually been accepted by the President.

According to him, a civil servant at levels 1 through 17 will see a 40% boost in consequential allowance salaries.

In the current system, basic pay and all allowances are combined into what is known as the “consolidated public service salary structure.” Therefore, a public servant’s salary rise will be 40% of what they collect now.

“They’ll start paying at the end of this month (April), and the arrears from January, February, and March will be paid later. Starting in January 2023, the wage will increase. I’m not sure if the President has yet signed the suggestion made by the committee formed to look into the possibility of a wage adjustment for federal personnel.

The Federal Government authorized a wage hike for the nation’s civil servants, the Minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige, announced last month. And he said:

In light of the current economic situation, Ngige defined the wage increase as a special provision for civil servants. It is intended to help government employees fend off the consequences of growing inflation, rising living expenses, and increases in transportation, housing, and power rates.

The headline inflation rate in Nigeria reached 22.04 percent year over year in March, the highest level since September 2005, according to The Punch.

The NBS also noted that the price of food and drink made a considerable contribution to overall inflation.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages (11.42%), housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel (3.69%), clothing and footwear (1.69%), transportation (1.43%), furnishings, household equipment, and maintenance (1.11%), education (0.87%), health (0.66%), miscellaneous goods and services (0.37%), and restaurants and hotels (0.27%) are the divisional level items that contributed to the increase in the headline index.

The planned wage raise, according to leaders of organized labor, is a meager allowance that does not translate into a 40% boost in workers’ salaries.

The National Vice President of the Trade Union Congress, Tommy Etim, responded by confirming the government’s plans to raise “allowances and not salaries,” as had been implied previously.

He claims that the amount has grown due to inflation and the odd circumstances surrounding the termination of the fuel subsidy. But he emphasized that the cash hadn’t yet been given to the public servants.

The National Bureau of Statistics reports that the most recent increase in inflation is the third consecutive increase this year and is up 0.13 percentage points from the headline inflation rate in February 2023.

I am aware of the government’s initiatives, and the payment will begin in January, the man replied. There is no salary rise as a result of the new payment. In order to avoid misleading the public, it is a special allowance rather than a pay rise. It is a one-time, basic salary rise rather than a general one. To avoid giving the market woman the impression that the government has raised wages, other components have not changed. Due to the particular circumstances surrounding the termination of the fuel subsidy and inflation, it is an allowance. A stipend is not the same as pay. I can’t comment authoritatively until it hits everyone’s bank accounts because no civil servant has received it.

Etim further urged the government to take into account raising other allowances like rent and transportation. Etim is also the president of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria.

“We would also like it if additional benefits were taken into consideration, particularly housing and transportation. The socioeconomic indicators of today do not favor transportation for civil servants, with some of them spending their entire pay on it alone, not to mention rent and other expenses. It is crucial that the administration take note of that issue, he continued.

The Nigerian Labour Congress, however, asserted that it was unaware of the anticipated raise, saying, “We are only hearing rumors.”

Hakeem Ambali, the NLC’s national treasurer, claimed that the union had not yet participated in any kind of conversation about the matter.

Because there are mechanisms for discussing fringe benefits and workers’ entitlements through collective bargaining, he claimed, “For us, we are simply hearing it as rumors. It would need to be agreed upon by all three parties. However, based on what we can now observe, it still appears to be a rumor. We are still waiting for the Federal Government to invite the relevant labor organization so that negotiations can take place and we can all come to an agreement.

Any increment that is not supported by empirical data would not be acceptable to labor. In order to reach a reasonable conclusion, we must take the time to sit down and examine the inflationary and economic trends. Thus, returning to the negotiation table is the first step.

When asked what the union would do next if the government implemented the proposed plan, he responded simply, “We would continue in our push.” Even in our acceptance speech, we made it clear that labor will negotiate with the Federal Government on the minimum wage increment, so any allowance that doesn’t take cognizance of the economic reality of the time is not acceptable to labor.”

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