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Why FG Can’t Increase Wages, Sack Workers– Ngige

The Federal Government has said that salaries cannot be increased without assessment of the productivity of workers.

The Minister of Labour and employment, Chris Ngige, said this at the 3rd National Productivity Summit in Abuja.

Ngige also hinted that the planned downsizing of workers will not hold without productivity measurement.

The summit was organised by the National Productivity Centre (NPC), the ministry said in a statement.

Ngige said, “We must propagate the culture of productivity. Some people are suggesting that we should downsize because a lot of people are at work. You cannot do that without measuring productivity.

“Same goes with emoluments. Some people work in ministries while others work in parastatals like NNPC and FIRS. They are not equally paid. The huge disparity in wages does not give cheer. How we can bridge the gap in wages is important.”

In May 2021, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said at the ‘National Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Cost of Governance in Nigeria’ held in Abuja that the FG will cut personnel cost and merge MDAs due to dwindling revenue.

There are also concerns on the wage disparity between workers in the ministries and parastatals.

The approved minimum wage is N30,000. But there is a huge gap between workers in establishments like the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd and the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

Ngige said that the disparity in wages is as a result of rebellions by labour unions.

He said, “”Nigeria is blessed with enormous human and natural resources and, therefore, has the potential to be a major economic power. Yet, having an abundance of these resources does not guarantee development except they are properly harnessed, mobilized and maximized. The aim is not only to secure new and additional resources but to also make better use of existing ones.

“Mobilising domestic resources for productive investment is a long-standing challenge for most developing countries like ours. Weak demand, rising debt and volatile capital flows have left many economies.

“However, there are compelling reasons why more emphasis should be given to domestic resource mobilisation. It is vital to increased productivity, employment and revenue generation, wealth creation and poverty reduction.”

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