The president of the Nigerian Local Government Employees Union, Akeem Ambali, has urged the Federal Government to negotiate with workers on the proposed revision of allowances for government workers.

In an interview with saturday punchAmbali said the union had not moved forward with the allocation review process, adding that the government had failed to follow due process.

He spoke in the context of the ongoing review of government worker allowances by the Federal Government.

Although LG workers are categorized under the state government, the NULGE leader believes that the state government needs to start negotiations with LG employees.

He said: “By the principle of collective bargaining, it is a tripartite arrangement. So, everything that the government has clarified that has not reached the working table and we have not negotiated it, no partner in the collective bargaining reserves the right to unilaterally announce any revision of remunerations or salaries”.

“We consider what the Federal Government has said to be a rumor because the workers have not been invited to the negotiating table. We await FG’s invitation to come and negotiate on this and our negotiations will be based on what is obvious: the galloping trend of inflation in Nigeria. Any worthwhile revision will have to be on two legs.”

The Minister for Labor and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, noted that the President’s Committee on Wages was working hand in hand with the National Wage, Income and Salary Commission on an upward review of workers’ wages.

The Federal Government in a statement indicated that it was only reviewing remunerations and emoluments.

The minister also emphasized that the workers affected by the remunerations were public officials.

“The Presidential Salary Commission, through the Federation Government Secretariat, received recommendations for the review of all assignments from many government secretariats, departments, and dependencies.

“Because the salary component is not currently being reviewed by the committee, it addressed the allowances component of the applications, including peculiar allowances for federal public servants, among others,” he said.

He said it was necessary to see how to stop the runaway inflation in Nigeria because any wages under review without a price control mechanism would be a waste of whatever has been done, adding that fuel prices cannot continue to skyrocket daily with the façade of Salary review.

Meanwhile, the president of the Nigerian Local Government Employees Union argued: “Our second part of the bargain is also about remuneration. What will be the increase in purchasing power of Nigerian workers? To this day, Nigerian workers are very impoverished. What they pay us is a peanut, which is less than $2 a day.”