A new pay package for Nigerian civil servants will be operational in three months, Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, has said. When operational, the least paid worker would go home with N18,000 at the end of every month as against the N7,500 minimum wage that presently obtains. Jonathan while addressing workers on the occasion of the May Day celebration, pleaded with the civil servants to shelve their planned five-day warning strike scheduled to commence tomorrow, and assured them that the issues in dispute would be resolved within the next three months. He also disclosed that he had directed the Minister of Labour, Chief Chukwuemeka Wogu, to ensure that negotiations with the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council achieves the desired results within the next three months. “This important assignment of which I understand you are respectfully represented in the committee is nearing conclusion. The National Committee on Parameters for Wages in the public segment is also working assiduously to ensure that we have a mechanism that will make for adjustment on workers’ remuneration gradual. “I sincerely plead with the civil service unions to negotiate with the government because of the warning strike they have presented to us. I believe very sincerely that Nigeria and indeed the rest of the society must develop to a point that workers will not negotiate for salary increase,” he said. Jonathan said this year’s Workers Day celebrations coincide with the Golden Jubilee of the nation’s independence. He gave the assurance that the federal government was working assiduously to address issues of employment generation, Niger Delta crisis, electoral reform, power supply and other necessities for national development. “For me I promise honest service. I will give all my heart and mobilise every available talent of Nigerians wherever they are to meet the expectations of our people. As we are going into an election year, the issue of credible of election is top on my agenda to national liberation. "I have taken the challenge of an inadequate power supply, peace and rapid development of Niger Delta, food security as well as overall security of all Nigerians and promoting credible elections as priorities in the concluding months of this administration, " Jonathan said. Jonathan also told the rally of thousands of workers that his government would give Nigerians free, fair and credible elections in 2011, compared with previous polls that were judged to be largely flawed by local and international observers, including the United Nations and the United States . He also promised to improve security in the restive, oil-rich Niger Delta that has in the past three years been the theatre of kidnappings and attacks. Jonathan expressed government's resolve to provide a conducive environment for the workforce. He said his presence at the occasion was a demonstration of the administration' s belief that to build a strong democracy, there must be a virile labour movement. According to the Acting President, no nation can develop beyond what the collective efforts of its working population can present. "The rate and size of a country's development is dependent on the size of its economy and therefore the need for an expanded economy for the good of our people", Jonathan said. He said there was an on-going effort by government to create a new Nigeria anchored on social justice, industrial peace and harmony, due process and the rule of law and thus called for a collective effort to achieve a solid and prosperous nation. Jonathan promised to provide honest service on his part as government works towards ensuring transparency and accountability in the conduct of its business. President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Omar Abdulwaheed in his speech said the negotiation over the National Minimum Wage has dragged for several months. He said they were earlier hoping that the issue would have been concluded and that the government would announce it to the workers on May Day (yesterday) based on the agreement reached. “In the same vein, we have followed the negotiations on relativity in the public service and the apparent lack of progress in the process. The distortion occasioned by the consolidated salary structure in the public service is not only unjust but against the principles of equity and social justice,” he said. He pointed out that the tripartite committee had completed its work. “Your Excellency, the ball is now in the court of the executive arm to fast track the promulgation of the committee recommendations into a New National Minimum Wage Law. Nigerian workers will not accept any further delay on this matter,” he said. President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Peter Esele, expressed disappointment that the civil servants were offered only a 10 per cent salary increment while the Police and other services got between 60 and 100 per cent. He also called for sincere efforts to address the various problems of the country which have all contributed to hinder the country’s growth. “TUC will support any action taken by the Association of Senior Civil Servants to address this injustice as we will not accept anything less than N18, 000 as minimum wage payable to Nigerian workers.” The theme for this year's celebration is '50 years of Nationhood and the Working Class: Challenges of Good Governance, Unity and Credible Elections'.