The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, has said that unrealistic demands by the Senior Staff Union members were responsible for the delay in the implementation of the New National Minimum Wage structures.
She said this on Monday in Abuja at the two-day “Retreat for top management staff of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), Manpower Development Institutes (MDIs) and Federal Training Centres (FTCs).
She also said that a Presidential Committee on Consequential Adjustment has been set up for smooth execution of the minimum wage and that negotiations were on between the government and the unions.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to implementing the new national minimum wage and that is why the presidential committee on the consequential adjustment arising from the minimum wage has been sitting to deliberate on it. And in fact, it has sat with the union leadership within the public service to come out with the consequential adjustment arising from the new minimum wage.
“There were a few, what I will call unrealistic demands from the unions. So as not to continue delaying the implementation of the very dear policy of Mr President, we had to go ahead and seek his approval to implement the minimum wage effective from April,” Oyo-Ita said.
She said that while the decision was to pave way for the federal government to continue with the discussions on the consequential adjustment, the federal government would not allow the demands of the senior staff unions to affect those the minimum wage was largely meant to address, which are the low income earners.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Service Policies and Strategies Office (SPSO), Dr. Magdalene Ajani, said the retreat was designed to sensitize participants on the implementation of 2017-2020 FCSSIP.
According to her, the vision was to reposition Nigeria’s federal public service for better performance in tandem with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020, which chartered a new course for the service.
On her part, the Director-General, Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Mrs. Cecilia Gayya, said the college appreciated the vision of the OHCSF for developing a strategic document for human capacity building for civil servants.