President Buhari Inaugurates Technical Advisory Committee On Minimum Wage

ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT,
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE INAUGURATION OF A TECHNICAL
ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL
MINIMUM WAGE ON WEDNESDAY, 9TH JANUARY 2019 AT THE
PRESIDENTIAL VILLA, ABUJA
Protocols:
The last time Nigeria’s national minimum wage was reviewed was in 2011.
It is therefore evident that a review is necessary, despite the prevailing
fiscal challenges. 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.
That Committee has since submitted its report with some
recommendations. We are currently working on the final steps that will lead
to the submission of a National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to the
National Assembly.
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.
Also, it is important to explain that even though the subject of a National
Minimum Wage is in the Exclusive Legislative List, we have been meeting
with the State Governors because it is imperative that the Federal
Government carries the State Governments along in determining any upward
review of the minimum wage for workers.
This is especially necessary considering the prevailing public sector
revenue challenges, which have made it extremely difficult for some of the
governments to pay workers as and when due.
As you know we, at the Federal level, 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.
However, 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.
We must therefore look at ways of implementing these consequential
wage adjustments in a manner that does not have adverse effects on our
national development plans, as laid out in the Economic Recovery and
Growth Plan (ERGP). The ERGP sets appropriate targets for levels of Capital
Expenditure, Public Debt, Inflation, Employment, etc. It is absolutely
important that the implementation of a new minimum wage does not
adversely affect these targets, and thereby erode the envisaged gains for
the workers.
It is against this background that I have set up a Technical Committee
to advise Government on how best to fund, in a sustained manner, the
additional costs that will arise from the implementation of the consequential
increases in salaries and allowances for workers currently earning above the
new minimum wage.
The Technical Committee being inaugurated today will be chaired by an
Economist and Financial Expert, Mr. Bismarck Rewane. Other members of
the Committee are experienced economists and administrators from the
private sector working together with all the relevant officials in the
Government.
The Terms of Reference of the Committee are:
a. To develop, and advise government on how to successfully bring about a
smooth implementation of impending wage increases;
b. Identify new revenue sources, as well as areas of existing expenditure
from where some savings could be made in order to fund the wage
increases without adversely impacting the nation’s development goals as
set out in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan;
c. Propose a work plan and modalities for the implementation of the salary
increases;
d. Any other suggestions that will assist in the implementation of this, and
future wage increases.
Given the urgency of this exercise, the Committee is expected to
complete its deliberations and submit its report and recommendations
within one month today.
It is now my pleasure to formally inaugurate the Technical Advisory
Committee on the Implementation of an Increase in the National Minimum
Wage.
Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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