From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
As part of measures to check arbitrariness in the workplace and to ensure appropriate remuneration for Nigerian workers, the Federal Government has designed a National Pay Policy (NPP).
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Mr Ekpo Nta, told Daily Sun, in Abuja that the policy will calculate the number of hours a worker spends in the office and the quality of work done. That, he said, will determine his remuneration.
“What it entails is that when people are working in any country, even in your own private organisation, you have a policy guiding them. For example, for fresh appointment in government, you know that you will work for 35 years or at age 60, whichever comes first, you leave that system.
“So, those are the kinds of policies you have to put in place. In other to earn that salary you have to be at work from a particular time in the morning to a particular time in the day or night for those who do shift. For those in the information sector you don’t even have opening and closing times. So, it’s all these that cumulate to determine your remuneration. Are you going to get a fixed salary? Are you going to get additional allowances? Are you going to get fringe benefits because sometimes fringe benefits might not be in terms of cash. Do we give you voucher to go to hospital or do we give you a staff bus to take you home? These are parts of what will be defined as your pay policy. How many times do I need to pay you in a year? Should it be every month? Should it be every week? And how many times should I give you an increment? You know for some people you have automatic increment after one year. How many times should we review your salary? Should inflation affect your salary? If inflation is so high should it make you to continue what you are earning and if not what percentages should we use or what indices do we use? These are what will constitute a pay policy” he said.
Besides, as an employer, before you recruit, you should be able to know your income and determine how many workers to employ.
“In addition, you want to look at your purse in determining a policy. If you, as a person want to recruit a driver for your home, you have to decide how much you are generating to be able to pay a driver.
So, you can say you can employ a driver but you will not be able to pay N30,000 per month. That now becomes a policy in your home. If you want to have two drivers, two things will happen. It’s either you increase your budget of income to be able to meet two drivers or you negotiate with the driver to come between 8 in the morning and 12 noon. These constitute what you call your own local policies at home” Nta noted.
On the N30,000 minimum wage, the NSIWC chairman regretted that some institutions and states are not implementing the policy, a situation that necessitated the commission to begin an investigation to identify those institutions.
“We have discovered that quite a number of institutions are not paying N30,000 minimum wage and we have compiled our reports. We cannot do the entire country. So, we have to do a selective monitoring of the exercise to guide us to the next one. We run a federation. So, if it comes to salaries it’s a federal issue where the federal government does not have exclusive control. States regulate their own salaries but they take a queue from the federal which is why under the NSIWC act we are available to states for consultation——–even the private sector. If you look at our board, we have representation from labour. We have organised employers on our board and we have government agencies. So, we are technical in nature. We advise government. We advise labour and we advise anybody that comes to us” he submitted.ENDS