Federal workers, Monday, cheered the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige at the May Day parade in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The workers under the aegis of Civil Service Union and Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) were beneficiaries of the 40 percent pay rise for workers under the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure (CONPSS) by the Federal Government.
The recently approved 40 percent “peculiar allowance” reflected in the April salary of the workers, together with the January, February and March arrears.
Apparently moved by the gesture extended to them by the Federal government, the excited workers cheered Mustapha and Ngige at the Eagle Square Abuja while they observed the May Day parade, alongside the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Festus Osifo and other dignitaries.
The enthused workers, who marched with excitement, loudly greeted the government representatives who observed the parade from the podium.
Earlier in his speech, Ngige said the Nigerian government recognises the importance of workers and they were committed to creating the right environment for them to thrive.
He recalled that they had earlier taken a number of measures to support workers, including increasing the National Minimum Wage in 2019, institutionalising its review automatically every five years and investing in training, re-training, education and capacity development for workers.
He explained that the Federal Government worked out the introduction of the 40 percent peculiar allowance into the remuneration and emoluments of the core federal civil servants and other public servants on CONPSS to help cushion the effects of inflation and costs incurred in doing their work as they are not on special allowances.
According to the Minister, the pay increase demonstrates the commitment of the government and leadership to improving workers welfare and conditions of service even without any industrial action.
He described the new peculiar allowance of the core federal civil servants as purely a product of social dialogue.
Ngige recalled that since the emergence of CONPSS on January 1, 2007, it has not been reviewed by any of the past administrations, but for the consequential minimum wage adjustment of 2019 for all wage structures under the government in 2019.
He said: “However, other workers in the other different wage structures like CONHESS, CONMESS, CONUAS, CONTISS that started their Collective Bargaining with their employers even with industrial action are wounding up their Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) for the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) to transmit same for final treatment as provisions were made in the 2023 appropriations for them with effect from January 1, 2023.”
President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the SGF, encouraged the incoming administration to continue to respect workers rights imbued with socio-economic development and driven by the four pillars of the decent work, expending social protection and promoting social dialogue for consensus building and maintaining a sound national industrial relations system.