Strong signs point to the federal government’s favorable attitude toward the country’s organized labor’s demand that the minimum wage be increased to as much as N200k per month.
While Charles Soludo, the governor of Anambra State, has been asked to lead a Technical Working Group (TWG) to address the problem and its many facets, state governors are recommending caution.
A presentation on how the federal government can comply with the demand for a N200,000 per month minimum wage was presented by the Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission during the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting held last month, The Bureau has learned.
According to sources who spoke with Empowered News Network, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is explicitly and personally convinced that the organized labor’s demands are not unreasonable. He cited his campaign promises as evidence that he is prepared to meet the task.
Remember that President-elect Tinubu stated on May 1 during Workers Day that “workers in the Nigeria I will have the honor and privilege to lead from May 29 will have more than a minimum wage.” You will be paid enough to live comfortably and support your families.
The Salaries & Wages Commission costed the financial ramifications of the aforementioned minimum wage increase and demonstrated how the federal government could pay it at the NEC meeting that the president inaugurated in June, with a certain recommendation that it was well within the federal government’s capacity. However, at the meeting, the state governors who make up the NEC membership questioned the proposal.
The governor of Anambra State, Prof. Charles Soludo, led the governors at the meeting and argued that before adopting the proposal to significantly raise the federal minimum wage, NEC should first understand where the money would come from, how much would come from it, and which states would receive it.
With the new foreign exchange strategy, it is anticipated and planned that there will be more money available for the federal and state governments to split under the FAAC monthly payment. In that event, knowledgeable sources claim that there would be enough extra money to permit a large increase in the minimum salary from N30,000 to N100,000 per month.
Similar to this, the fuel subsidy savings would result in an increase in the amount of money flowing into the federation account.
As publicly disclosed, a subcommittee of governors led by the governor of Kebbi State with six other governors among the members was constituted at the June NEC meeting to assess the situation. They represent each of the six geopolitical zones as governors of the states of Anambra, Benue, Kaduna, Bauchi, Cross River, and Oyo.
The director general of the Federal Budget Office, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Accountant General, and a representative of NNPCL are also members of the subcommittee. According to a statement from the Office of the Vice President, who serves as the head of the NEC, other participants included officials from organized labor (TUC and NLC) as well as Ms. Rukayyat El-Rufai.
With the understanding that both the federal and state governments, and not just the federal government, would be liable for the payment of the new minimum wage, the subcommittee established a Technical Working Group, or TWG, at its meeting shortly after the NEC last month. Governor Soludo served as the group’s chairman.
The TWG convened at least three times in the past month, on the 24th, 27th, and 30th, respectively, under Soludo’s direction.
The TWG decided that discussions with labor must be two-tracked, with the federal government in one hand and the state governments in the other. This was one of its key resolutions.
The National Economic Council (NEC) will meet later this month to hear the subcommittee’s report and make a final determination regarding the national minimum wage, which will subsequently be sent to the president as a recommendation.
Additionally, it was learned that the Soludo TWG would decide what would happen to the workers in the states, but at the very least federal government employees would receive the significant minimum wage hike.