Buhari promises to forward bill to National Assembly pegging new national minimum wage at N30,000

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has promised to implement a new national minimum wage of N30,000 ($62) a month after accepting the report of the Tripartite Committee on the Review of National Minimum Wage in Abuja yesterday.


Nigeria had been on the verge of a general strike but yesterday, labour unions called off their planned nationwide industrial action after signing an agreement with the government. Over recent months, the government and the trade unions have been negotiating a minimum wage and the two sides have agreed to increase the amount to N30,000 from the current N18,000 a month


Receiving the report from committee chairman Amal Pepple in the council chambers of the presidential villa yesterday, President Buhari said the federal government would soon transmit an executive bill to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time. He added that he was delighted that the committee completed its assignment in a peaceful and non-controversial manner.


President Buhari said: "Our plan is to transmit the executive bill to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time. I am fully committed to having a new National Minimum Wage Act in the very near future and the fact that we are here today is a notable achievement.


“As the executive arm commences its review of your submission, we will continue to engage you all in closing any open areas presented in this report. I, therefore, would like to ask for your patience and understanding in the coming weeks, so may I, therefore, implore workers and their leaders not to allow themselves to be used as political weapons."


Ms Pepple added: “After carefully weighing these critical factors and bearing in the mind the overriding interest of the economy, the committee, while noting the offer of N24,000 by the federal government, is recommending an increase in the existing minimum wage from N18,000 to N30,000. We believe that the implementation of the recommended minimum wage will, no doubt, boost the purchasing power of workers, increase consumption expenditure and ultimately stimulate business and overall economic growth.


“We strongly believe that the enactment of the draft bill into law is very critical to the operation and future reviews of the national minimum wage. Consideration was given to the critical role of the informal sector in employment generation and the need for a realistic minimum wage that will not stifle the growth of the sector and the overall economy.”


She added that the committee’s recommendation was predicated on the high cost of living, occasioned by the exchange rate as well as the rising inflation rate. Also, the committee considered also micro-economic indicators, including the government’s revenue and expenditure profile.


Ms Pepple said she believes that the implementation of the recommended minimum wage will boost the purchasing power of the working class, increase consumption expenditure, and stimulate economic growth. At the meeting with Ms Pepple and President Buhari were the secretary to the government of the federation Boss Mustapha, labour minister Chris Ngige and finance minister Zainab Ahmed.