Soludo sets up committee on minimum wage

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The Anambra State government has set up a committee to look into the issue of the minimum wage for workers in the state civil service.

The state chairmen of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, Humphrey Nwafor and Chris Ogbonna, respectively, disclosed this in a joint press briefing at the Government House on Wednesday evening, after a meeting with the governor.

The leadership of organised labour and officials of the Anambra State government, led by Governor Chukwuma Soludo, met on Tuesday to iron out burning issues concerning wages, pension and other conditions of service.

Nwafor, who briefed journalists after the meeting, said: “Seven items were raised before the governor, and they included contributory pension, minimum wage, Labour House, and many others.

“In the end, we are happy to inform you that all the issues were settled amicably. The governor has announced the suspension of the contributory pension, both for the state and the local government workers. He has also set up a committee that will look into the pension issues as well as investigate why money was deducted and not remitted. The committee will report back in eight weeks.

“As for the minimum wage, seeing is believing. Ordinarily, as NLC chairman in the state, we should not make public speeches about this, but for this, we are saying something and you know that this issue started long before we came into office.

“Since 2019 and 2020, when the agreement was signed, it has been an issue and we had believed that minimum wage was based on basic salary, but now we have seen that it is clear that minimum wage is based on take-home salary, so going by that, Anambra has been complying with payment of minimum wage. Every other thing is based on an interpretation outside of the law. We are happy with the resolution.”

He said the governor has set up a committee that will harmonise wage issues and make them seamless henceforth, just as labour in the state awaits the resolution of the national and federal governments on the new minimum wage.

“He has set up a committee that will look into wage issues in Anambra and see how he can assist workers by increasing their pay. We have people from NLC, TUC, and local government workers on the committee; the SSG, head of service, Commissioner for Finance and others are part of it from the government’s side.

We are happy that the issue of minimum wage is now coming to an end. The struggle that lasted for five years has come to an end. After the committee must have looked into what the governor asked us to do, he is going to make an announcement on the increase in our wages.

“The governor has also graciously approved land where Labour House will be erected for labour in the state. The committee on wage award has also been set up long before now and they will submit their report in three months and the governor will make a pronouncement about our wage increase. We are happy that the meeting was a successful one,” he stated.

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