Tinubu Ready To Pay N200k As National Minimum Wage, Soludo Asked To Fix It

by Hotnewsinnaija.com
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The Federal Government is favorably disposed to raising the minimum wage to as high N200k per month as demanded by Labour Unions, but State Governors are urging for caution while Anambra State Governor Charles Soludo has been asked to chair a Technical Working Group to resolve the issues and its various dimensions, Empowered Newswire reports.

Authoritative sources disclose that the matter was seriously discussed at the last month’s National Economic Council ( NEC) meeting and it was there that the Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission made a presentation on how the FG can meet up with the demand of N200,000 per month minimum wage.

The sources added that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is specifically and personally convinced that the demand of the Labour is not unrealistic pointing to his campaign promises as a proof of the President’s readiness.

Indeed the then President-Elect also said on Workers Day on May 1 that “in the Nigeria, I shall have the honour and privilege to lead from May 29, workers will have more than a minimum wage. You will have a living wage to have a decent life and provide for your families.”

At the NEC meeting which the President inaugurated in June the Salaries & Wages Commission costed the financial implications of the said minimum wage increase and showed how the FG could pay it, with a certain recommendation that it was well within the capacity of the FG. But at the meeting the State Governors who make up the membership of the NEC raised questions querying the proposal.

Leading the Governors at the meeting was Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo who argued that before adopting the presentation to significantly raise the National Minimum Wage, it would be important for NEC to first understand where the money would come, how much would come and what States would get.

Part of the expectation and planning is that with the new Foreign Exchange policy more Naira cash would be available to be shared by the FG and the States under the FAAC monthly distribution. In which case according to informed sources there would be enough surplus Naira cash to enable the significant raising of the minimum wage from N30,000 to N100, 000 monthly.

Similarly the savings from the Subsidy would further mean more cash inflow to the Federation Account.

At the June NEC meeting, a Sub-Committee was formed to review the situation as was publicly announced, composed of Governors led by Kebbi State Governor with 6 other Governors among the members. They are the Governors from Anambra, Benue, Kaduna, Bauchi, Cross Rivers and Oyo States with each representing their geopolitical zone.

In the Sub-Committee are also the Director-General of Budget Office of the Federation, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria Accountant General of the Federation and the representative of NNPCL. Others included representatives from the Organised Labour (TUC and NLC) and Ms. Rukayyat El-Rufai, according to a statement from the Office of the Vice President who is NEC’S Chairman.

According to reports, the Sub-Committee at its meeting soon after the NEC last month a Technical Working Group, TWG was formed with Governor Soludo as Chairman to interrogate the issues around raising the minimum wage understanding that it is both the FG and the States not just the FG that would be responsible to pay.

Under Soludo’s leadership the TWG has met at least thrice last month; on the 24th, 27th and 30th.

One of its major resolutions the Soludo TWG resolved that “negotiations with Labour must be two-tracked between the Federation (on the one hand) and the Federal Government (on the other.)

Later this month the NEC would meet to receive the report of the Sub-Committee and take a final decision on the National Minimum Wage which would then be forwarded to the President as an advisory. The sources said what is most likely is that at the very least FG workers would be receiving the huge minimum wage increase, while the agreed accrual to the States which the Soludo TWG is working out would determine the fate of the States.

Specifically the mission of the National Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission, the agency of the Federal Government responsible for fixing the wages of workers in the federal public sector is “to achieve an equitable, affordable and sustainable remuneration system.”

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