In response to the recent spike in inflation following the removal of petrol subsidy and the unification of exchange rates, the Federal Government of Nigeria and various states have initiated preparatory talks to address the issue of an enhanced minimum wage. The outcome of these discussions will serve as a crucial guide for the Minimum Wage Review Committee in determining a new wage for workers across the country.
The move to enhance the minimum wage comes as a measure to mitigate the impact of subsidy withdrawal on the workforce and provide much-needed relief to workers who have been affected by rising living costs. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, emphasized the importance of reaching a consensus on an upward revision of the national minimum wage, but clarified that the government’s position is not in favor of a 100 per cent pay rise.
In April 2019, former President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new Minimum Wage Bill, raising the minimum wage to N30,000 from the previous N18,000. While some states have implemented the new minimum wage, others are yet to comply, and some states have even increased the minimum wage to N40,000.
Regarding palliatives for the withdrawal of petrol subsidy, President Tinubu has outlined a comprehensive relief package, including the allocation of over N275 billion to bolster the manufacturing sector and support MSMEs. The government is also engaged in discussions with labor unions for further salary reviews, and once the terms are agreed upon, budget provisions will be made for immediate implementation.
President Tinubu expressed appreciation for private sector organizations that have taken the initiative to increase remunerations for their employees. He assured workers that their salary reviews are forthcoming and under active consideration.
The government and stakeholders continue to collaborate in designing a sustainable and equitable solution to address the economic challenges caused by subsidy withdrawal. The discussions between the federal and state governments are ongoing, and the Minimum Wage Review Committee is expected to play a pivotal role in formulating a new wage structure that benefits workers and accounts for the evolving economic situation.
The government’s commitment to addressing the concerns of the workforce and implementing strategic relief measures is aimed at easing the financial burden on Nigerians in the face of inflationary pressures. As negotiations progress, stakeholders remain optimistic about finding a suitable resolution to ensure the well-being and welfare of the nation’s workforce.
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