MINIMUM WAGE: CIVIL SERVANTS IN ANAMBRA STATE DEMAND IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATION, OTHERS LAMENT INFLATIONARY EFFECTS
After long period of negotiations, consultations, warning strikes, strikes, and setting up of committees for the purpose of Implementing the thirty thousand Naira New Minimum wage, the Federal Government and labour leaders on 18th October 2019, came to terms and jointly agreed on percentages at which the salary adjustments would be made.
Since the announcement, many civil servants have been speaking on how they feel about the whole issues surrounding the new approved wage.
While some view it as a welcome development, others express fear that the prices of commodities in the market may be adjusted by traders not considering the amount the new minimum wage translates into salary.
A civil servant, Mr. Anthony Odiegwu, said the issue of minimum wage was unnecessarily over advertised, which had already created inflationary rate as some landlords had started writing notice letters to tenants.
Another Respondent, Mrs. Cynthia Igbokwe, observed that based on the economic realities on ground, civil servants deserved more than the approved percentage, which amounted to nothing in the market.
For a resident of Amansea in Awka North Local Government Area, Mr. Ozor Okonkwor, the value of eighteen thousand naira few years ago was more effective when compared to the purchasing power of the much negotiated thirty thousand Naira minimum wage.
Mr. Okonkwor called on the Federal Government to immediately take steps towards regulating price of goods and services through provision of more infrastructure and basic amenities to the common man.
A journalist based in Awka, Mr. Jude Atupulazi expressed regret that while civil servants, who generated large percentage of the nation’s income were being offered thirty thousand naira, politicians smiled home with one hundred percent income and wages approved without negotiations.
Two other civil servants, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they would only react to the whole arrangement when they must have seen the credit alert at the end of October as government promised that the payment was with immediate effect.
Also, the Chairman Nigeria Labour Congress in Anambra State, Comrade Jerry Nnubia, called on the federal government to ensure that taxes and levies were not used to take back the consequential adjustments agreed upon by the negotiating team.
A human right activist, Comrade Obi Ochije, while appealing to the government not to allow arbitrary increase of goods and services, called on the state governors to ensure implementation of the consequential salary adjustments in interest of the masses.
Other respondents, however, said government could only regulate market prices when it had put in place a functional system like public power supply, good road, exchange rate and other logistics that would encourage local production.