The Minister of State for Labour, and Employment,  Festus Keyamo (SAN), has reacted to the last-minute pay rise of 144,766 federal civil servants by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

According to Keyamo, the introduction of a pay rise for the 144,766 federal civil servants under the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure (CONPSS) cannot be looked at as unreasonable.

Recall that the Buhari administration has announced a pay rise for workers, a move that some describe as a “trap for the incoming administration.”

The Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, had earlier explained that the government introduced the allowance for civil servants in view of the current economic reality, and it is meant to help government workers to support the effects of rising inflation, the rising cost of living, hikes in transportation fares, housing, and electricity tariffs.

Ngige added that workers under the CONPSS were paid peculiar allowances alongside their salaries for the month of April with arrears of January to March 2023 paid alongside.

Speaking with The Punch on Saturday, Keyamo stated that the government can afford the pay rise when the incoming government removes subsidy and explores some other means to fund the budgets.

The minister added that Nigerian workers deserve more wages, but the issue is the funding is the problem.

He said “The new package for workers cannot be unreasonable under our present circumstances. In fact, Nigerian workers deserve more. The issue is the funding. I think when the new government removes subsidy and explores some other means to fund our budgets, the government can afford it.”

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