By Victor Ahiuma-Young
ABUJA â€” THE Federal Government yesterday in Abuja, called on public servants to ensure that any increase in salaries and emolument was reciprocated withÂ increased productivity as it inaugurated a new negotiating team comprising government and labour representatives to resolve disparities in the pay structure of the core civil service.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, who inaugurated the negotiating team, said whatever agreements arrived at should be based on availability and affordability of resources.
Reiterating President Goodluck Jonathanâ€™s commitmentÂ to improve workersâ€™ welfare, while inaugurating the negotiating team in the Office of the Head of the Service of the Federation yesterday, Wogu said: â€œThese issues are not limited to salaries alone but include other welfare of workers.
“The President and Commander-in-Chief is labour-friendly, he is workers friendly and is a friend of labour and is so passionate and desirous to improve the lot of the Nigerian working force and it is on his authority that we inaugurate this team.
“It is my belief that all things should be taken into consideration and the issues at stake are affordability and availability and that is why the Head of Service in his wisdom included the Director-General of the Budget Office and the Permanent Secretary, Finance in the team.
“This is the beginning of the resolution of the dispute that has existed all this while. Disputes with respect to certain level of civil servants. My expectation as the Minister of Labour is that at the end of deliberation of the team that they will be able to resolve it and come up with some decisions that will be passed on to the President for his consideration.â€
Earlier in his remarks, Head of Service, Mr. Oronsanye called on the negotiating team to also consider the related issue of productivity in the course of its deliberation.
â€œWhile the specific term of reference for the negotiating team is to resolve the issue of wage increase, it is not limited to it. Negotiations must also dwell on the issue of productivity. Ordinarily, a wage increase should be concomitant to improved level of productivity, but this has not always been the case,” he said.