In a move that could bring relief to workers across Nigeria, the federal government is strongly considering raising the minimum wage to N200,000 per month, aligning with the demands of organized labor in the country. The decision comes after extensive discussions and presentations at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, where the Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission outlined a plan to meet the proposed wage increase.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has personally expressed his conviction that the demand of organized labor is not unrealistic, citing his campaign promises as evidence of his commitment to tackling the issue. During his campaign, President Tinubu stated, “In Nigeria, I shall have the honor 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.”
However, state governors have urged caution regarding the implementation of the proposed increase. Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State has been appointed to chair a Technical Working Group (TWG) responsible for addressing the various dimensions of the issue and finding a resolution.
The TWG, led by Governor Soludo, has been actively working towards a solution, holding several meetings throughout last month. One of their key resolutions is that negotiations with labor unions should be conducted separately between the federal government and state governments.
The financial implications of the minimum wage increase have been thoroughly assessed by the Salaries & Wages Commission, indicating that the federal government has the capacity to meet the proposed wage. The recent changes in the foreign exchange policy and the expected savings from fuel subsidies are anticipated to provide additional funds for distribution through the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).
The sub-committee formed during the NEC meeting, consisting of governors from various states, representatives from government bodies, and labor unions, will present their report later this month. Following the NEC’s decision, the final advisory on the national minimum wage will be forwarded to the president for approval.
While the fate of state workers will be determined by the Soludo TWG, it is highly likely that federal government workers will benefit from the significant minimum wage increase. The outcome of these developments is poised to bring positive change and improved livelihoods for workers in Nigeria.
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