Lagos State Government at the weekend debunked the alleged statement by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Minimum Wage in the State’s Civil Service saying the State Government remains the first State in the Federation that implemented the Federal Government approved Minimum Wage structure.
Barely a week before the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections in the State, the Candidate of the PDP in the State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has placed posters in the environs of the State Secretariat, Alausa, promising to implement the National Minimum Wage and pay leave allowances to the Public Servants if voted in as Governor of the State.
But a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Governor, Mr. Hakeem Bello, explained that the administration of Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN was not only the first to implement the Minimum Wage structure but also added to the N18,000 Minimum Wage across board, a gesture for which the Public Servants commended the administration.
The statement recalled that the issue of minimum wage was settled on Tuesday, February 7, 2011, when the State Government signed an agreement with the 14 approved labour unions in the State Civil Service to pay N18,780 to the lowest paid of its workers.
The agreement, brokered by the then Commissioner for Establishment and Training, Mr. Jide Sanwoolu, according to the statement , increased the minimum wage of the lowest paid worker in the employment of the government by 69.6 percent which is a 7.6 percent increase over the Federal Government approved National Minimum Wage.
Apart from commendations from the national leadership of the labour unions then, the statement also recalled the Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) of the approved labour unions, Comrade Henry Akinwunmiju, as thanking the State Government “for its magnanimity in not only meeting the workers’ demands but going beyond to give more than the Federal Government”.
It also quoted the Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), which was part of the negotiating team, Comrade Akeem Kazeem, as also thanking the State Government then “for the understanding it has shown concerning the workers’ demands” adding that “what has happened in Lagos State as regards the negotiations was worthy of emulation by other states of the Federation”.
On the issue of Leave Allowance, the statement said the Governor recently met with the Public Servants during which he explained that his administration did not stop paying leave allowances but that the system of annual payment of the allowance changed when the Public Servants themselves requested that they be moved from Harmonized Salary Structure to Consolidated Salary Structure as obtains in the Federal Civil Service.