The Federal Government is set to review the salaries of workers currently earning above the national minimum wage.
President Muhammadu Buhari made the revelation yesterday while inaugurating an advisory technical committee for the implementation of the proposed N30,000 new minimum wage for Nigerian workers, shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
The chairman of the newly inaugurated Presidential Advisory Committee on New National Minimum Wage is a foremost economist, Mr. Bismarck Rewane.
It is unclear whether the anticipated review of the salaries of those earning higher than the present minimum wage as anticipated by the President will be downward or upward.
Some of the agencies of government to be affected by the review include Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and aviation agencies, among others.
According to the President, the re-negotiation for the review of the salaries of such workers will commence shortly after the passage of the new minimum wage law.
He said: “At the federal level, we have made adequate provision for the increase in the Minimum Wage in our 2019 Budget proposals, which we submitted to the National Assembly.
“Therefore, we will be able to meet the additional costs that will be incurred in moving up all personnel who are currently earning below the new minimum wage.
“We anticipate that after the new minimum wage has been passed into law, we will be going into negotiations for salary review for all the workers who are already earning above the new minimum wage. It is, therefore, important that we are properly prepared to meet these demands.”
President Buhari noted that it has become imperative for the government to look at ways of implementing the consequential wage adjustments in a manner that does not have adverse effects on the country’s national development plans, as laid out in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
He said the responsibility of the committee is to advise the Federal Government on new sources of funds and ways to implement the proposed new minimum wage in a sustainable manner.
He assured that he was committed to a review of the national minimum wage.
President Buhari said the last time Nigeria’s national minimum wage was reviewed was in 2011.
While acknowledging that it is evident that a review is necessary, despite the prevailing fiscal challenges, he noted that: “This is why I constituted the Tripartite Committee of Government, Organized Private Sector and Labour to consider the National Minimum Wage and make recommendations to government for its upward review.
“I want to make it clear that there is no question about whether the National Minimum Wage will be reviewed upwards. I am committed to a review of the Minimum Wage.”
The committee’s terms of reference include proposing a work plan and modalities for implementation.
President Buhari has also given the committee one month to submit its report.
The appointment of the advisory committee comes a day after the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) held a nationwide protest over the N30,000 minimum wage.
Others members from the private sector are former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, Sulieman Barry, Dr. Ayo Teriba, and Prof. Akpan Ekpo.
From the public sector are: Chairman of FIRS, Babatunde Fowler; Director General of Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, who is the secretary of the committee; representative of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF); Chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Richard Egbule; Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack; Permanent Secretary, General Service Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olusegun Adekunle; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse; Permanent Secretary Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Olajide Odewale; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, and Solicitor General Of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata.
Others are Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, office of the Vice President, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu; Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Economic Policy, Dr. Joseph Nnanna; Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris; Director General, Debt Management Officer, Ms. Patience Oniaga; Director General, National Institute of Social and Economic Research, Dr. Folarin Gbadebo-Smith; Statistician General, National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Yemi Kale; Mrs. Aisha Hamad; Mamman Garba and Tunde Lawal.