Indications emerged Tuesday that the 80% new wage increase will not be applied to all categories of workers in federal public service.
This is just as government said they will need to review the recently submitted Mid- Term Economic Framework and Fiscal Policy Strategy of the Federal government
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this to BusinessDay on the sideline of the presentations of the report of the Tripartite Committee on the new Minimum Wage which has recommended N30,000 as new Minimum Wage.
The Minister who noted that the new wage bill was going to be “ heavy” on government, however, noted that “ there will be no across the board implementation”of the new Minimum wage.
She disclosed that government team will now sit to workout the modalities firvits implementation.
“ Of course, we cannot pay 80% wage increase across the board for every category of workers”
President Muhammadu Buhari while accepting the report assured that government will work out the necessary instruments that will be forwarded to the National Assembly for immediate consideration and Passage by the National Assembly.
“As the Executive Arm commences its review of your submission, we will continue to engage you all in closing any open areas presented in this report. I therefore would like to ask for your patience and understanding in the coming weeks.
He also appealed to the Nigerian “ workers and their leaders not to allow themselves to be used as political weapons”
The President while reviewing the process that culminated into the agreement, Saudi government side, was concerned with “affordability”, adding that “today many states struggle to meet their existing salary requirements”
“ On the side of labour, the points raised focused on the need for any increase to be meaningful.
“ In a way, both arguments are valid. I want to assure you all that we will immediately put in place the necessary machinery that will close out these open areas. Our plan is to transmit the Executive Bill to the National Assembly for passage within the shortest possible time”
He however assured that he is fully committed to having a new National Minimum Wage Act in the very near future.
“Let me use this opportunity to recognise the leadership of the organized labour and private sector as well as representatives of State and Federal Governments for all your hard work. The fact that we are here today, is a notable achievement.”
Chairman of the Committee, Amal Pepple, said the team had Public hearings in the six geopolitical zones to arrive at its recommendations
She declared that the new Wage takes into consideration review of the Micro economic indicators, as well as critical roles of the informal sectors to ensure sustainability
She also called on the government to act urgently to ensure the early passage a new legislation that will bring the new national Minimum Wage, into effect.
Pepple said, “To arrive at our recommendation, the committee carefully weighed the demand of the Nigerian workers which was predicated on the high cost of living occasioned by unfavourable exchange rate and rising inflation over the past few years, among other factors.
“The committee also considered the overall macro-economic indicators, including the revenue and expenditure profile of government as provided by the honorable ministers of Budget and National Planning and Finance as well as the Minimim Wage proposed by some state governments in their memoranda submitted to the committee.
“Consideration was also given to the critical role of the informal sector in employment generation and the need for a realistic minimum wage that will not stifle the growth of the sector and the overall economy.
“After carefully weighing these critical factors and bearing in the mind the overriding interest of the economy the Committee while noting the offer of N24,000 by the federal government, is recommending an increase in the existing minimum wage from N18,000 to N30,000. We believe that the implementation of the recommended minimum wage, will, no doubt, boost the purchasing power of workers, increase consumption expenditure and ultimately stimulate business and overall economic growth.”
“The committee has also produced a draft national minimum wage bill 2018 for condition by government. We strongly believe that the enactment of the draft bill into law is very critical to the operation and future reviews of the National Minimum Wage” she said.
Tony Ailemen, Abuja
Tags: Minimum Wage