Buhari is ready for honest & transparent negotiations- Osinbajo
Vice president Yemi Osinbajo says the Buhari administration will honestly and transparently resolve the request by labour for a salary increase for other levels of workers not affected in the implementation of the new national minimum wage.
Prof. Osinbajo was speaking at a meeting with the new leadership of the Trade Union Congress, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Osinbajo commended the labour leaders’ engagement with the Federal Government saying their coming indicates a willingness to work with the government.
He urged them to consider the President as someone committed to the welfare of workers-a reason he gave States series of bailouts to help repay backlog of salaries in several States.
The Vice President noted that the Buhari administration refused to ignore the situation, and instead provided different facilities including Paris club refunds and budget support loans to provide immediate succor to States.
On the contentious issue of salaries increase being demanded, the VP observed that labour “must find ways to work with a government that is honest and wants to work to resolve the issue transparently.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige disclosed that the new national minimum wage was already being paid by the Federal Government, noting that arrears would also be settled.
He said the salary increase that labour is now asking for is a “Consequential Adjustment,” arising from the implementation of the new minimum wage.
While the new minimum wage covered salary grade levels 6 and below, the adjustment being demanded now is for the salary increase of the other grade levels from 7 above.
The TUC President called on the Federal Government to effect the salary increase while urging it to continue to deal with security matters in the country.
Both the labour minister and the TUC president spoke to state House correspondent after the closed-door meeting.