Minimum wage: Buhari inaugurates Technical Advisory Committee on implementation

President Muhammadu Buhari has formally inaugurated a Technical Advisory Committee headed by renowned economist and financial expert, Bismark Rewane, to advise the Federal 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 information disclosed in a tweet on Wednesday via the Twitter account of the Presidency, reads that the committee is expected to complete its deliberations and submit its report and recommendations within one month.

Other terms of reference for the committee includes:

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.

Speaking during the inauguration at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, President Buhari noted that “there is no question about whether the National Minimum Wage will be reviewed upwards,” stressing that he is committed to a review of the Minimum Wage.

“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,” he added.

The 30-man committee with members drawn from the public and private sector, has Ben Akabueze as its secretary.

The national minimum wage which was last reviewed in 2011 has been a source of debate between the organised labour and state governments in the country who are opposed to the proposed sum of N30,000 recommended by the Tripartite committee as the new wage, leading to protests and threats of a nationwide strike by the workers in the last few weeks.

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