By John Okoh
Mr Rewane in a handshake with President Buhari after the inauguration of the Advisory Committee on Minimum Wage, while VP Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Secretary to Government, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari and Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, look on. Pix Channels TV
Renowned economist and Director of Financial Derivatives, a financial risk analysis firm based in Lagos, has been appointed by President Muhamamdu Buhari to head a Technical Advisory Committee on the implementation of the new National Minimum Wage.
Buhari who inaugurated the committee shortly before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, on Wednesday, with a pledge to commit to an upward review of worker’ s wage, said the committee would recommend “modalities for the implementation of the new minimum wage in such a manner as to minimise its inflationary impact, as well as ensure that its introduction does not lead to job losses’’.
According to the President: “The work of this Technical Committee will be the basis of a Finance Bill which will be submitted to the National Assembly, alongside the Minimum Wage Bill,’’ he added.
“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 governors to pay workers as and when due.”
“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.”
The terms of reference of the committee include;
- To develop, and advise government on how to successfully bring about a smooth implementation of impending wage increases;
- 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
- Propose a work plan and modalities for the implementation of the salary increases;
- Any other suggestions that will assist in the implementation of this, and future wage increases.